Showing posts with label Tommy Cooper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tommy Cooper. Show all posts

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Even More Unique Magic Related Statues

I just love when readers contribute! Here are two images for magic statues that I've never seen. The first is a Tommy Cooper Jug.
Guild/Tommy Cooper Toby Jug.

Tommy Cooper Toby Jug Collectors Guild 1996/97 by Kevin Francis Ceramics manufactured by Peggy Davies Ceramics. This 9.5" Toby Jug captured the great man on stage, wearing his trademark red Fez , matching red socks and black evening suit with white shirt and bow tie, pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Tommy Cooper is one of the few magicians to have a life size statue of himself as well.

Next we have, a wooden figurine which is amazing. It's a female magician pulling a rabbit from a top hat. The figurine is the work of artist Ben Godi. This piece is made of wood as I mentioned, and has a run of 200. I read about the process on how he creates them and it's quite amazing. He begins by creating a unique hand carved figurine from wood. Then he has a machine that duplicates his figurine though he still has to go back and work on each of the 200 copies by hand to fix and imperfections and smooth them out. Simply amazing. This figurine is 9 inches tall and there are still some available if you are interested in adding it to your collection. Just visit his website And there are additional views of the figurine on the site, it's a wonderful piece.
Thank you to Christina from Luxembourg for the contributions!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Magician Statues

The recent article I did on Tommy Cooper got me wondering about what other magicians might have statues. So far what I have found is pretty bleak. My criteria for this is for outdoor life-size or larger than life statues. I am not including busts, as there are a number of these around and I plan to cover those in another upcoming article.

Siegfried & Roy
First up we have The Masters of the Impossible, Siegfried & Roy. Their massive bronze statue is outside the The Mirage Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. I believe it was erected in 1993 but I don't know who the artist was who created the work. I also am not sure it's actually a bronze statue or just a fiberglass statue with a bronze finish. I hope it's actually bronze.

Sadly, S&R have been off the strip so long and some only remember them for the accident. But at their peak they were wonderful performers and entertainment icons. I hope their statue remains for many many years to come.

In front of the Maison de la Magie in Blois France is this wonderful statue dedicated to The Father of Modern Magic, Jean Eugene Robert Houdin. He certainly deserves a statue and I'm glad to see that one was erected in his honor. However, I do not know the cost of the statue nor who sculpted it.

The museum behind the statue is said to be the 'house' of Robert Houdin, but I'm not sure that is the case. I don't recall the Houdin house being that large.

One thing is certain, the descendants of Robert-Houdin did donate the house to the town of Blois to be used as a museum to the great French Magician.
Tommy Cooper
Tommy Cooper, the fez wearing British comedy magician has a statue in his honor that stands in his home town of Caerphilly, Wales. Tommy Cooper died while doing a show LIVE on TV in 1984. Like all the performers in this article, he transcended the magic world and was considered an entertainer for the masses. His statue is made of bronze and stands 9ft tall. It was created by sculptor James Done at a cost of £45,000 which was raised by The Tommy Cooper Society in 2008.

Harry Collins
Harry Collins was a magician and spokesman for the Frito Lay Corp. He was also one of the first magicians to inspire Lance Burton and I believe he was also Lance's first magic mentor.

The statue stands over Harry Collins grave in the Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. The statue appears to be a bronze casting and no idea who the artist was or the cost.

David Copperfield
The latest edition to the statues is one that was recently unveiled in August 2012 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. This bronze statue is dedicated to the 'King of Magic' David Copperfield.

This is the most unusual statue of the group because at first glance it might appear to be a giant bust of the magician. However, the lower part of the statue features sculpted images from some of David's most popular illusions, including Flying, Walking Through The Great Wall of China, Making the Statue of Liberty Vanish, The Lear Jet Vanish and Tornado of Fire.

It sits in front of the the theater where David Copperfield regularly performs in Las Vegas.

The big question I have is, "Where is the Statue of Houdini?" The sad answer to that is, there is NO statue of Houdini. The closest thing we have is his grave with the bust, but by the criteria I set above, that isn't quite enough. Let's face it Houdini deserves a life size statue! I know at one time the SAM led a concerted effort to the get a Houdini Postage Stamp which eventually paid off. Perhaps it's time to work on the creation of a Houdini statue.

There actually is/was a statue dedicated to the memory of Houdini, but it was of his Metamorphosis Trick which at one time was on display in Appleton Wisconsin. That statue is currently in storage while the city finds a new place to display it.

IF you happen to know of a magician statue that I missed, please let me know. I'm looking for more statues, NOT busts. I have a list of magic related busts that I'll be doing soon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tommy Cooper - Just Like That!

I love being able to re-introduce entertainers from yesteryear. The gentleman whose life I'm going to share with you today is someone I didn't really know much about until a couple of years ago. I had heard the name but had no idea who he was.  His name is Tommy Cooper, and if your from England then you no doubt know of him. But here in the U.S. he is not as well known, which is unfortunate.

Tommy Cooper was a comedy magician, kind of in the style of Carl Balantine where none of the tricks he presented worked. In real life Tommy could present magic but for whatever reason he decided to use do more of a lampoon act rather than a regular magic act. Good thing he did too because in the 1960s-80s Tommy Cooper was a big name in show business.

He was born in 1921 in South Wales. When he was 8 years old young Tommy received the gift of a magic set from a relative. A few years later while serving in the military Tommy was chosen to work with a group entertaining the troops. His act began as a comedy magic act. While in Egypt he acquired his trademark 'Fez' cap when he forgot the hat that he usually used in his act. The Fez got so many laughs he continued to use it throughout his career.

In the 60s he broke into television with his own weekly show and would remain a staple on english television right up until his death. His final performance was on LIVE TV on the show Live From Her Majesty's. Tommy died of a heart attack while doing his last performance.

One of the great things about the Internet is that Tommy Copper's performances can be viewed on Youtube for new generations to enjoy. The first time I watched Tommy Copper I couldn't help but love his approach. He had a way about him that was so entertaining and refreshing. I didn't care that his magic didn't work, it was funny. And he didn't demean the magic, which I often see when I watch comedy magicians. He just enjoyed the folly. Many consider him a comedian first and a magician second, and I think that's a pretty fair assessment. Many of his jokes and lines were corny but somehow he could deliver them and make you laugh. He was incredibly funny, but he would also occasionally have a trick work correctly which I'm sure would surprise his audiences as much as it surprised him!

The main reason I decided to look up Tommy Copper and find out more about him was because I had seen an interview with Anthony Hopkins, the actor, and he was telling a story about Tommy Cooper and just raving about him. Then a later, Mr. Hopkins was present at the unveiling of a statue dedicated to Tommy Cooper. If Anthony Hopkins thought he was great, then I figured there had to be something to this guy. Sure enough, Mr. Cooper made me laugh as well.