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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » New Ade Duval Book "Silken Sorcerer" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

David Charvet
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I have mentioned it briefly in other posts, but want everyone to be aware that my new book, "ADE DUVAL: SILKEN SORCERER" is now available. Duval had the most famous all-silk magic act in history. During his heyday between 1925 and 1955 he performed literally around the world. The act headlined at the Palace Theater in new York, Radio City Music Hall (4 times!), The London Palladium. Rex Theater in Paris, Wintergarden in Berlin, Tivoli Theaters in Australia, and more, including multiple appearances on the Ed Sullivan show.

The book details Duval's entire career and the workings of his act and other landmark non-silk routines including his original "Smoking Thumb" and "Multiplying Golf Balls" routines. 144 pages. 130 photos and illustration. Hardbound. Full color cover. Foreword by Marvyn Roy ("Mr. Electric.") Limited to 500 copies.

If you perform silk magic, this book will give you much information.
Find details at" http://www.charvetmagic.com

Thanks -
David Charvet
Bill Hegbli
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Placed an order minutes ago, I have read some of your previous writings and am sure this will be of equal value.

Posted: Dec 20, 2009 1:49am
What prompted my order was the Article excerpts in the December 'Magic Magazine' and the video clip someone was gracious enough to post on YouTube.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=217

He may have been ahead of his time in performance art of magic.
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James Adamson
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Thanks for posting the link.
Be remembered for performing what looks like MAGIC, not skill.
mumford
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Loved the Alexander book.
dsalley13
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I just received the " Ade Duval" and the "Willard the Wizard" books. David Charvet is a captivating writer and brings the lives and times of both of these Magicians to life. It's very hard to put either book down and go do my chores or anything. Dinner is going to be late until I've finished both. I just wish I could afford his book on Jack Gwynne. It's sky-high $$$ now. That will help teach me to not be a procrastinator!!!


dsalley13
foolsnobody
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How much time did Ade Duval spend prior to each performance in cleaning, "de-wrinkling" (however it's done) and setting up the silks required to do his act? I read something somewhere but I forgot. I believe it takes a lot of dedication to be a silk worker.
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2009-12-22 01:15, foolsnobody wrote:
How much time did Ade Duval spend prior to each performance in cleaning, "de-wrinkling" (however it's done) and setting up the silks required to do his act? I read something somewhere but I forgot. I believe it takes a lot of dedication to be a silk worker.


Re-read your Magic Magazine article, December issue, page 44. He did not do it most of the time, his assistant did, and it took about 45 minutes after months of practice. There was not 'de-wrinkling' as you call it. Once silk break-in or all the 'Sizing' comes out they look great all the time.

Posted: Dec 29, 2009 8:32am
I received the 'Ade DuVal Silken Sorcerer' book yesterday. I purchased the none collectors edition. It is hard bound even though the author regards it as soft bound, I guess because the Jacket is actually printed on the cover. It is a fantastic design cover and back cover of the book. It depicts the period very well and draws interest to see what is inside.

I found the book good and the story line interesting. Approximately half the book is the history and storyline, the last half is a reprint of the small book currently available from Magic Inc. about the silk act.

In between these 2 sections is the Golf Ball Routine and Smoking a Thumb Routine that DuVal used later in career as a second act.

I found the paper to be very thin and the printing from the opposite page to show through the page currently being read. The 'font' chosen was not the best choice as the lines were very thin and disturbed me as I was reading the text. It could have been the printer using less ink as well.

The pictures are all excellently printed in 'gray scale' and adds to the quality of the book. The Magic Inc. publication's pictures are very poorly reproduced in their small book offering. As the author states, he was able to obtain the original photos taken and use them, a big plus for the book. You can tell the book was composed on a Computer as the the spell check worked but the typing was poor, hitting the 'e' key instead of the 'd' key as an example, caused the wrong word to be inserted. The word was correctly spelled, but the wrong word was in the sentence. This is throughout the book, not a big thing but kills the flow of reading.

Besides the 'Smoking a Thumb' routine I ordered the book as I had taken it also contained information on the 'DuVal Silk Blow', I only found an old reproduction of the advertisement and 2 references given as to other sources that it may be found.

This I did not expect and decreased the value of the book as incomplete. I dislike when you pay for a magic book of anykind and all you get are references to other books for the details. There is actually no good reason to leave this important information out of the book, as all copyright laws are well past, if there were any filed in the 1st place. Tannen's don't even make the trick any longer to my knowledge.

As I figured, so I am not to disappointed, the 'Smoking' gimmick is a best guess by the auther. It was not sited that any investigation of the gimmick was researched, except to ask a well known magician.

On occasion, I watch the History channel on television and they have a series of hunters of people from long ago days. These Genieoglist track down family, what seems very easily and usually come up with a good solution. No attempt of this nature was taken by the author to find family and attempt to find out more of the gimmick.

I was not stated in the book, if DeVal had any children, so maybe this was not possible, but and note of the attempt would have been interesting to read about the hunt as well. Everyone likes a good mystery, as it is, it is still a mystery.

The book is well worth the asking price, and should be on anyone shelf that wants to perform on stage or in front of people. The store line is good as you see the rise and fall of a magician that took full advantage of the prospering times of the period. Buy this before you miss out as only 500 of each was printed. Mine is numbered 101 and autographed by the author. That means there are only 399 left of the soft bound version. Hurry!!

(Note: I have Owen Magic Catalog Number 7, 9, and 12. In # 9, they credit "Amrein" as the creator of the 'Smoking a Thumb' gimmick they use to sell. This was DuVal's real last name.)

Posted: Dec 29, 2009 11:01am
The Ade Duval book seems to me to be an unfinished work, as it gives a description of the act; it tells of silk productions and the multiple 20Th Century Silk Trick and multiply bare hand silk productions.

These are of great interest to me and many performers I believe. Some research should have been on these topics as well. Even though Ade Duval passed away before his intended number of books on his material was written, there must have been someone that seen his act, to at least describe the handling.

I say this because I have read some descriptions of silk productions and later find out it was not an instantaneous bare hand production, but a pulling from the old Hank Ball or Nikko gimmicks. There is a big difference in a description of the words used when describing an effect. I can understand this for publicity reasons in the wording in this manner, but not in a book intended for the learning of a famous magic act.

So was Duval also a forerunner in the bare hand production of silks, or did he call up a magic shop for a Hank Ball as he did for the P&L Phantom Tube?

So many more questions are posed from this publication. I hope Chapter 2 is in the works.
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Terry Owens
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It does take time to do it right...

Bill, thanks for your insights into the book.
David Charvet
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It seems like all biographies are "works in progress" even after they're published. After every book I've written, more material comes forth from previously unknown sources. In the case of the Alexander book, I ended up basically writing a whole new book for the second edition.

All of these books are labors of love, because the hours of research required are never really repaid from the limited sales the book receives. Duval took about a year to research and write. And when you consider the biographic portion of the book is 80 pages, that's a lot of time per-page. Duval had no children and all of his immediate family are now dead. There were no scrapbooks to draw material from. It was one big detective job involving hundreds of hours just to ferret out the material that is in the book.

Re: Duval's act. Ade was very secretive as to his methods. Many were not recorded, such as his handling of the bare-hand silk production (although there is film of him doing it), the Repeat 20th Century Silks and Smoking Thumb. It was only because Johnny Thompson once got a brief glimpse of Duval's smoke gimmick that we know anything about it today. It's always easy to make assumptions and put things in print to fill pages, but my preference it to make the material accurate, which in Duval's case, since he last performed 50 years ago, is very difficult to do at this late date.

Thanks for all of the kind words about the book.

David Charvet
MrPrestoHypno
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Just ordered my copy, looking forward to it!
Rick
Bill Hegbli
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The city I grew up in had a magic/joke shop in it, as a young boy my brother took me the YMCA and as we were walking home would walk past a building that would change my life in a huge way.

This is the shop I purchased my 1st silk trick, it was a lot of money for the times and all I got was a Palmo and 2 silks. The owner instructed me in the performing the Color Changing Silk Routine by Bev Taylor. No instructions were supplied but years later, I discovered that it was this routine the owner taught me.

I just purchased my 3rd Palmo, since I dropped a Palmo at a show and did not realize it until I was home and re-packing the act. The replacement price was only $10.00 an unbelievable price for the year 2010. Think I paid $3.00 back in 1959.

The purpose of this story is to say that I just received my Palmo gimmick from Silk King Studio today. I have seen the Viking, Laflin, and India models and none can compare to the workmanship of the original. It is a perfectly machined metal gimmick that is pleasure to hold and manipulate in a silk routine.

I know the Bev Taylor Routine uses the Tape Type Dye Tube, but I have always used the Palmo, and it is the only Dye Tube that permits a convincing move to help eliminate the use of any device being used at all in a demonstration of the Hand version of the Color Changing Silk.

The Duval Book has renewed the Dyeing of Silks Routine that as a boy I used regularly in my performances. I regularly performed the Al Baker Color Changing Silk Routine using a Plunger Type Dye Tube used within a paper tube (I love that showing of the both side of the paper move). Three while silks change to different colors when the emerge from the other end of the tube.

My Plunger Tube has long bee sold, so I ordered a new Plunger Dye Tube from Rice as well (again only $10.00 unbelievable price). You will never see such quality in a gimmick anywhere in the world. All Brass construction and Smoothly slides from end to end. Not one pause or sticking along the travel path. And it does not flop around and make any noise whatever. The perfect gimmick!

Ever since my 1st silk trick I have used nothing but Rice Silk King Studio pure 100% Japanese silks (not China, India or Italy). I have over the years tried other brands, but none have the weight and feel that Rice Silks have. They do not run like the cheap imitations that Fun Inc. has produced. Fun Inc. Silks you cannot even touch without separating the threads, because I think these are made of such a pour thread weight.

Harold Rice's daughter Ruth Rice Crone has been committed to carrying on the Rice tradition of providing the best silks, silk effects and gimmicks to the magic community. These stocks are of course dwindling and when they are gone they will be gone for good.

If you plan to ever perform any silk magic, then I strongly recommend you to make the very small investment in Silk King Studio's offerings. Just click on the Banner Ad at the top of the Smooth as Silks topic. You will not be disappointed in any of your purchases.
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Bill Palmer
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If the information I have is correct, Fred Kaps learned the Smoking Thumb from Ade Duval. I have actually seen the last Smoking Thumb gimmick that Fred used. He gave it to a friend of mine who passed away in the early 1990's.
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Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2010-01-03 03:38, Bill Palmer wrote:
If the information I have is correct, Fred Kaps learned the Smoking Thumb from Ade Duval. I have actually seen the last Smoking Thumb gimmick that Fred used. He gave it to a friend of mine who passed away in the early 1990's.


Bill, it would be nice to know if the book is correct in it's assumptions of the gimmick. David Charvet would also be interested in this information as well, I am sure.

So is the gimmick lost, forever?
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David Charvet
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The Kaps gimmick (now owned by Pete Biro) is entirely different than the Duval gimmick. I don't believe Duval taught the trick to anyone, which is confirmed by Frances Marshall, who I quote in the book when she wrote: "As someone having business dealings with Ade up to the end of his life, I can assure readers that the 'Smoking' trick was never divulged to (a) living soul, despite generous offers of professionals and rather bad imitations. He said he wanted to keep it, because he firmly believed he would work again, and it was something within his strength and scope to do." I believe Frances was correct. I know Jay never saw the Duval gimmick, either, and they worked together several times.

As I mention in the book, Johnny Thomson did see the Duval gimmick - by accident - and he confirms it was entirely different than the Kaps gimmick. Johnny described it to me in great detail.

Kaps and Duval once appeared together - on the Magic Circle Golden Jubilee Show in London in 1955 - but Kaps did his FISM act with canes. I'm almost certain that Kaps seeing Duval on that show inspired Kaps to later do the Smoke trick.

I believe either Duval destroyed the smoke gimmick shortly before his death, or his family disposed of it after his death - either intentionally or by accident. I have been unable to locate any of his personal scrapbooks and all of his immediate family (4 brothers) are all dead now.
Bill Hegbli
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David Charvet,

This is getting confusing as it progresses. If the Duval gimmick is nothing like the Kaps Gimmick, then why was the Martin Breeze/Kaps gimmick used in the publication of the book. No comments were given to suggest anything other then what was pictured and described. This is only an observation not an accusation of any kind.

There is another design that was sold in the 1970 by Accent Products, it was from India and used the stem idea you assessed in the book. Much smaller business end, only could use a butt, really. It was re-introduced to the American market when India started importing heavily, I think by E-Z Magic/D. Robbins Co.

My own personal feeling is Kaps probably purchased his very 1st gimmick for Smoking a Thumb from Owen Magic. This is only my opinion, but it is logical as it was the only place it was available at the time and his gimmick is similar to the Owen Magic wood design. What feather leads me to this as in the old video of him performing, one of the steals looks as if he is using the steal suggested in the Owen instructions.

With this further controversy, there may have been more then on gimmick used by Kaps. Anyone knows props go through development as new designs created. The old is not always thrown away.
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David Charvet
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As I mention clearly in the book, I wanted to show that the routine could be done with the modified Breese/Kaps gimmick, should anyone wish to attempt it. I primarily wanted to document Duval's routine, patter and handling, which can all be done with the currently available gimmick - with some modifications. The original style Breese/Kaps gimmick will not allow the open handling as performed by Duval. Ade clearly smoked the very tip of his thumb - NOT putting his mouth deep into the crotch of his hand, which is the only way the original Breese/Kaps gimmick will work. If you ever see a film of Duval and Kaps side-by-side, you will note the difference. Duval's handling was much more "magical" and deceptive in my opinion.

The Johnny Thompson revelation about the Duval gimmick did not actually occur until after the book was finished. The first 50 copies of the book issued do not have the Thompson anecdote and description of the Duval gimmick. Subsequent copies (including yours, wmhegbli) include this description. Also, I should note (as mentioned in the book) that Johnny only saw the gimmick for a few seconds. He never actually handled it. We do know it was a mesh-style tank with a sliding stem that moved as Duval tipped his hand. That's it.

We can spend all day conjecturing about what "might" have been Duval's gimmick. But bottom line is, until it surfaces and can be examined (if ever) it's all just conjecture. I've told everything I know about it in the book. I think we're all getting hung up over the gimmick rather than the EFFECT. If anyone wants to perform it like Duval did, it CAN still be done, as I showed in the book.
Bill Hegbli
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David Charvet,

Thanks for your reply and the explanation. Yes, the routine is an important revelation as most only see this as a silent performance piece, ala Kaps. The patter is very important as to an idea of what was said and how it was presented. I wish to thank you for all your hard work and the writing of this book.

As said earlier, it should be on every magicians shelf to absorb a man that actually was very successful in the performance of magic. It was not his inability at being a business man, but his health that made him retire from show business.

I would say he would have overcome all the changes in entertainment that has made it a difficult business for present day magicians.





As I was rummaging through my collection of magic, I discovered my a trick that I had not handled in over a year, thus I had forgotten all about it.

It was the trick by Magic Inc. "Ade Duval's Vanishing and Reappearing Silk" it comes with Ade Duval patter and illustrated drawings.

If you want to complete your Ade Duval information, I suggest you get this repeat silk to pocket effect. It is a very old plot but is much easier then the old silk vanisher gimmick. It requires no set up and is an entertaining routine. Supplied with the gimmick and a silk. Years ago this was made in a plastic gimmick, it is now made in metal. I think the old plastic version was easier to handle but the suppler to Magic Inc. is probably not available any longer as this was some 40 years ago.
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MrPrestoHypno
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David,
Just finished reading your book and I want to say excellent job. It really makes me appreciate what magicians had to endure in that time era and what we today seem to take for granted. To bad there is no footage showing his performance with his music. Maybe one day someone will revive this act. Once again I appreciate your work.
Rick
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