The magician

This is the story of Alex Weyer, a magician in the Golden Age of Magic (ca. 1875–1948). He started off with a strongman act and ended up traveling the world with his magic show. He charmed the aristocracy of Europe, walked the stage of the Moulin Rouge in Paris, and entertained Australian troops in Egypt during World War I. He was billed as an American conjuror under the title The Great Alex Weyer, as the French prestidigitateur Weyer Le Mystérieux, and as a Belgian mystifier called Professeur Weyer. He was also a close friend of the most famous escape artist and magician of all time, Harry Houdini. And like Houdini, he had another name.

Alex Weyer’s real name was Jean Pierre Decker. He was born February 4, 1872, in the small town of Mondercange in the southwest of Luxembourg.

The adventures of Alex Weyer were collected from a variety of sources, including contemporary articles from magic magazines found in the Ask Alexander database, the largest online resource of information about the history of magic; online newspapers and genealogical databases; original promotional material, playbills, and other ephemera from several private collections and from a relative of the Weyer family; the National Archives in Luxembourg; and most importantly, Weyer’s letters to Harry Houdini, from 1901–1914, which are part of the Houdini collection in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center of the University of Texas in Austin.

Alex Weyer himself

Lily Weyer, his wife

Two of Weyer's three children

A wonderful poster

More photos on KissKissBankBank and Rüdiger Weyer's website

The book

The book was written in English and has been translated into German and French. All three versions are available from the  Librairie um Fieldgen, Luxembourg-Gare.

The English version is also available from Nielsen Magic

The team

The book was researched, written and published by Véronique Faber, a magic history enthusiast from Luxembourg. The English text was edited by Chicago-based David Parr, a magician, actor and editor. Constance Geertz, a writer based in Munich, worked on the German translation. The French version was translated by Leslie Villiaume, a young filmmaker based in Paris. Daniel Schildgen worked on the layout and organised the printing.