Help us get to over 4,000 biographies in 2018.

If you know of a past magician not listed in MagicPedia, start a New Biography for them or Email us your suggestion.

Wiljalba Frikell

From Magicpedia, the free online encyclopedia for magicians by magicians.
Jump to: navigation, search
Wiljalba Frikell

Portrait taken from his "Lesson in Magic."
BornFriedrich Wilhelm Frickel
July 27, 1816
Sagan, Silesia, now Poland
DiedOctober 10, 1903 (age 87)
Kötzschenbroda, Sachsen, Germany

Wiljalba Frikell (1816-1903), born Friedrich Wilhelm Frickel in Prussia, was a German magician. He often performed as Professor Frikell. As one of the most famous magician of his time, when Frikell lost his apparatus to a fire, he was forced to go on stage and perform barehanded. From then on, he developed an act without the usual equipment on stage, entertaining his audience through his sleight of hand dexterity.


He performed continuously, starting at the age of sixteen until he retired at the age of 59. Frikell performed across Europe, Egypt, India and in 1872 a successful appearances in the United States.

A year after his retirement, he lost all his money when his bank failed, he returned to performing. He gave his last performance in 1896. He retired a final time, leading an almost hermit-like life, leading the magic world thinking he was dead.

Houdini learned he was still alive and tried for months to interview Frikell because he heard that he was the first to work in evening clothes, rather the the flowing robes that magicians were known for during his day. But Frikell passed away before he could.

Danish King Christian VIII honored Frikell with the Dannebrog Order of Civil Merit.


  • Professor Wiljalba Frikell's Lessons in Magic: Or, Two hours of illusions, without the aid of apparatus (1858).


  • The secret out: Or, One thousand tricks with cards, and other recreations. (1859)
  • Parlor Tricks with Cards (1863).
  • Book of riddles and five hundred home amusements (1868).
  • The Magician's Own Book, or The whole art of conjuring (1870).[1]
  • Hanky Panky,: A book of conjuring tricks (1875).
  • 150 Magic Parlor Tricks(1907).


Wikipedia-logo.png This page incorporated content from Wiljalba_Frikell,

a page hosted on Wikipedia(de). Please consult the history of the original page to see a list of its authors. Therefor, this article is also available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

  • Stanyon's Magic, Vol. 2, No. 2, November 1901, Wiljalba Frikell, page 9
  • Mahatma, Vol. 6, No. 11 May 1903, Dr. Wiljalba Frikell Still Alive, by Harry Houdini, page 126
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 2, No. 9, November 1903, Death of Wiljalba Frikell, page 102
  • Old And New Magic, No. 1 (1906), Some Old-time Conjurers, by Henry R. Evans - Wiljalba Frikell, page 182
  • Conjurers' Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 5, January 1908, HISTORY MAKERS IN THE WORLD OF MAGIC, Wiljalba Frikell, by Harry Houdini, page 133
  • Conjurers' Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 6, February 1908, HISTORY MAKERS IN THE WORLD OF MAGIC, Wiljalba Frikell, by Harry Houdini, (cont.) page 165
  • M-U-M, Vol. 9, No. 77, August 1919, Impressions of a Night with Dr. Wiljalba Frikell, by Frederick Eugene Powell, page 22
  • The Magic Wand, Vol. 15, No. 125, March-May 1926, Frikell, page 131
  • The Annals of Conjuring, by Sydney W. Clarke (reprint 2001), 9. Frikell, page 255
  • Cover, The Linking Ring, Vol. 10, No. 4, June 1930, WILJALBA FRIKELL, by Doctor Henry Ridgely Evans, page 482
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 20, No. 2, April 1940, Magicians in Retirement, by Dr. Henry R. Evans – Wiljalba Frikell, page 107
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 20, No. 3, May 1940, Magicians in Retirement, by Dr. Henry R. Evans – Frikell, page 197
  • Houdini on Magic By Walter B. Gibson (1953)
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 33, No. 12, February 1954, Inconsequentialities by Stanley Collins – Wiljalba Frikell, page 31
  • The New Tops, Vol. 28, No. 5, May 1988, Man of Magic by Robert Olsen – Wiljalba Frikell, page 7
  • Sagemüller's Lexikon (n.d.), Letter F – Frikell, Wiljalba, Zauberkünstler, pages 25-35
  • The Secret Life of Houdini By William Kalush