Thursday, July 4, 2013

Compars Herrmann's Grave Update

photo courtesy of Heinz K├Ânig
Compars Herrmann was a victorian era magician from Europe. He was the older brother of Alexander Herrmann who would become very well known in America as Herrmann The Great. Compars developed his interest in magic through his father Samuel who was also an amateur magician. At some point in time, the younger brother Alexander became part of the Herrmann show. Alexander took the look of his brother, dressing the same with the same physical appearance and facial hair.

Compars performed mainly in Europe although he did venture to the United States. On January 27th, 1862, Compars, who was also known as Carl appeared with his younger brother Alexander before President Abraham Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln and his cabinet at The White House in Washington D.C.. One of the feature effects he performed was the Inexhaustible Bottle. This was an effect where any drink called for would come out of the bottle. Mrs. Lincoln requested tea, which Compars gladly poured from the bottle. Members of the audience asked for other drinks and Compars poured each drink called for from the bottle. This was a popular effect of the time and many magicians used it successfully.

Compars was friends with Johann Hofzinser another great Viennese Conjurer. It's said that a number of Herrmann's routines were adaptations of things he learned from Hofzinser. One in particular was the "Cone, Vase, Beans, Hat and Orange Trick" (quite the name huh), was originally called "Der Grosspapa" by Hofzinser. 

Compars is buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery, in Vienna Austria. There are three magicians buried in this cemetery and I will eventually post all three. The image above is how the grave looks today. Compare it to the image below  from the Sphinx Magazine 1906, a monthly magic periodical, and you'll notice that the decorative metal work on the grave is now missing.

Compars Herrmann -Born Jan 23, 1816 Died June 8, 1887

Wiener Zentralfriedhof (Vienna Central Cemetery)
: XI. Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 234, Vienna Austria
Section: T1 Group: 6 Row: 29 Grave: 38