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Maro Prince of Magic, The Cabinet of Balsamo Window Card

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Lithographed window card depicts Maro’s performance of the Spirit Cabinet illusion, here titled the "Cabinet of Balsamo." His version was based on the routine developed by Harry Kellar, in which the small cabinet was set on trestles and then strange manifestations took place inside and around the apparently innocent box. Minor wear at edges. A/A-. Maro (born Walter Truman Best), was a native of Montpelier Vermont. He found his way to the midwest as a young man and became a talented musician. But under the tutelage of Dr. A.M. Wilson (editor of The Sphinx), Maro found the world of magic, and his lifelong calling. He flourished on the stages of circuit Chautauquas and Lyceums, both before and after the dawn of the twentieth century, becoming one of the highest paid artists in his field. Karl Germain, Edwin Brush, and Eugene Laurant were his contemporaries and colleagues, and it is most likely due to Maro's untilmely death of typhoid fever in 1908 that his is less-well remembered than his bretheren. Maro's act was made up of more parlor and stage magic than full-scale illusions, many of his routines drawn from favorites of the time and popularized by Harry Kellar and Alexander Herrmann. For variety, he also worked with a company of musicians, and presented shadowgraphs as part of his full evening show. Maro was, by all accounts, a refined and artistic performer whose career and life were all too short. He is buried in St. Charles, IL underneath a marker made from a six-foot-tall three-ton boulder.

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