I am looking for information about Circus Fernando, early 20th century, maybe a circus that was based in Liège or a German magician-artist called Fernando Schmitt. Did anyone hear of this Circus? Thanks for any hint.


Here the only reference I found (except for advertissments in newsapers)


Vol. 11 No. 2

By Harry Houdini, ed.

August, 1921

John Mullholland Letter fro his travels in Europe While in Mayence, in the area of the French occupation, there was a carnival.
The largest attraction was a  theatre owned by G. Fernando Schmidt, son of the late illusionist Fernando.. The attraction was a combined magic, automaton and marionette show. Kuchay
Bellachini, Jr., was the magician, and he had a very clever act.

The act was made up of these tricks: A vanished handkerchief, found in a previously empty glass; a continental version of the parasol cover and handkerchief
which change places; and a box holding a man, through which swords were run in the manner of the East Indian basket trick. Bellachini is limited in his sleight of hand work, as the middle finger of his left hand is missing. It had to be amputated on account of a wound received in the war. In addition, at one performance, he put on a one act, black art version of
Faust. The playlet was very interesting and quite good, provided one did not too closely follow the plot.
Though the plot and Marguerite were both away, on a vacation, their place was admirably taken by the illusions.

Fernando Schmidt worked the marionettes and automatons. The automatons were two trapeze performers, about eighteen inches high, with an astounding variety of moves. Among the wooden actors was a magician whose tricks were probably appreciated by the rest of the marionettes. At other tents were a rising lady illusion and a midget magician. Both were very poor.

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Great, many thanks!

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It appears as if the attraction was not a circus, but part of a carnival or traveling fair.  These operations were similar to what became side shows on circuses and carnivals in the United States.  I would suggest that you contact Professor Vanessa Toulmin at the University of Sheffield in England.  The University maintains a large archive of material on European traveling attractions.

Good luck with your search

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