Thanks to a timely renewal of my Conjuring Arts Research Center membership, I just got the third issue of Gibeciere (Winter 2007) via priority mail yesterday. It is up to the very high standard set by the first two issues. Volker Huber's article on "The Educated Swan," translated from the recent German anthology RARE KUENSTE opens the issue. This is followed by Mitsunobu Matsuyama's continuing investigations on magic in Japan following the opening of that country to the west, this article detailing the Itchosai Dynasty (a bookmark showing the family members' details and relations is included for easy reference!). Top Italian professional Aurelio Paviato (tied with Ammar for first place in close up at FISM in 1982) offers detailed notes on the cheating references in Aretino's 1543 Le Carte Parlanti. Finally there is a fascinating article by Peter Braeuning on a previously unknown magical member of the Bamberg family, Abraham Bamberg. This is the only article I have fully digested and it is an incredible piece of research, using obscure primary sources (often police and court records) to track the peregrinations of a wandering Jewish conjurer in anti-semitic Prussia in the 1820s. Really amazing!
Thanks to the contributors, editor Stephen Minch and the Conjuring Arts Research Center for elevating the scholarly discourse on our art! In my opinion, this publication alone is worth far more than the annual membership dues. The added benefit of access to the Alexander database make membership a real bargain for anyone interested in magic's history. More info available at www.gibeciere.com