Buatier de Kolta, Inventor of the de Kolta Chair

Buatier de Kolta (1845-1903) was a French magician who also toured England and America in the 1870s and 80s. He is credited with devising many illusions still in use today, including the Multiplying Steel Balls, the Expanding Die, the Appearing Bird Cage, and the de Kolta Chair, a.k.a the Praying Lady Illusion.

Here is a corny tribute to the latter illusion from British television, with the added bonus of can-can dancers, and for some idiotic reason, a synthesizer rather than a piano:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zsm3feEq6Q

To find out more about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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