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Colonel Stodare

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Colonel Stodare

From Stanyon Magic, Sept. 1901
BornJoseph Stoddart
June 28, 1831
Great Salkeld in Cumberland, England
DiedOctober 22, 1866 (age 35)
London, England
Resting placeHighgate Cemetary, London

Colonel Stodare (1831-1866), born Joseph Stoddart in England, was a ventriloquist and magician who entertained the Royal family at Windsor.

Confusion with his brother Alfred

Much misinformation still exists in the early and later literature (including auction catalogs) because of confusion with his brother Alfred Stoddart (1840-1893), who initially had performed as Alfred Inglis (English) and, after working as stage manager for his brother Colonel Joseph at the Egyptian Hall in 1865-66, a few months before his brother's death adopted the name of Alfred Stodare and performed his brother's illusions, causing an irreparable rift between them.

The confusion between them was further compounded by their similarity in appearance (see E.A. Dawes, 1998; 2010).


Stodare used the title "Colonel" to suggest an adventurer or explorer of foreign mysteries. Some references also list him as being born Jack Inglis in Scotland and Alfred English.

Stoddart went to London in 1865, working in opposition to John Henry Anderson. He first appeared at the Egyptian Hall, under the name Colonel Stodare, on Easter Monday, April 17, 1865.

On October 16, 1865, on Stodare's 200th appearance at the Egyptian Hall, he presented for the first time his Sphinx Illusion, invented by Thomas Tobin.

He died at the height of his success of tuberculosis after suffering a fatal hemorrhage of the lungs. His brother, Alfred, continued on with his show, as well as his widow as "Madame Stodare", with the assistance of Firbank Burman (one of Stodare's pupils), and G. W. Jester (a ventriloquist).


"The conjurer demonstrates that things are not always what they seem. Therein lies his philosophy." -- Colonel Stodare

Inventions and featured illusions

  • Stodare Egg - a hollow egg used in vanish or production of a silk. Alexander Herrmann called the "Kling Klang" trick.
  • The Indian Basket, using the Tip-Over Trunk principle
  • Sphinx Illusion


  • Handbook of Magic (1862)
  • The New Handy Book of Magic (1865)
  • The Art of Magic (1865)
  • Stodare's Fly Notes was serialized in Routledge's Magazine for Boys from January to July 1866 (no article in April). See the blog The Armchair Bibliographer.
  • Hindu Basket (1866)
  • Stodare's Fly Notes: or, conjuring made easy (1867)
  • Routledge's Every Boy's Annual By Edmund Routledge included Stodare's Fly Notes as a chapter (1867)


  • Cover, Stanyon’s Magic, Vol. 1, No. 12, September 1901, Modern Magicians – Colonel Stodare, page 97
  • Stanyon’s Magic, Vol. 2, No. 1, October 1901, RE COLONEL STODARE, by Hartz, page 5
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 1, No. 10, December 1910, Some Old Time Conjurers and their Tricks, No. 1, by Henry Ridgely Evans, Col. Stodare, page 116
  • The Annals of Conjuring, by Sidney W. Clarke (1929, reprint 2001), Stodare, page 276
  • Cover, The Linking Ring, Vol. 10, No. 6, August 1930, Stodare, page 682
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 34, No. 3, May 1935, Colonel Stodare, by Sidney W. Clarke, page 78
  • The Magic Circular, Vol. 81, No. 875, May 1987, Highgate Cemetery, by Tom Ellis, A Footnote on Colonel Stodare, by Edwin A. Dawes, page 92
  • Stodare: The Enigma Variations by Edwin Dawes (1998)
  • Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer (2003)
  • The Magic Circular, Vol. 104, No. 1128, July 2010, A rich cabinet of magical curiosities, by Edwin A. Dawes - 381. Further Studies on Colonel Joseph Stodare and his Brother Alfred Stodare, page 209
  • The Magic Circular, Vol. 104, No. 1129, August 2010, Addendum to Rich Cabinet 381 Alfred Stodare (Stoddart), page 241
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Stoddart, Joseph = Joseph Inglis, Colonel Stodare, engl. Zauberkünstler (*28.06.1831; †22.10.1866), page 327