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Martin Chapender

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Martin Chapender
BornHarold Martin Jones
June 1, 1879
Liverpool, England
DiedFebruary 9, 1905 (age 25)
Hull, England

Martin Chapender (1879-1905) was a polished magician known for his billiard ball manipulations.


In 1902, he was managing an insurance office in Liverpool, when he showed Charles Morritt some of his manipulations with billiard balls and cards. Mr. Morritt was so impressed with his skill and assured of his eventual success that he advised him to take it up magic professionally. T. Nelson Downs wrote in Mahatma, "I consider Mr. Martin Chapender one of the cleverest as well as one of the most original sleight of hand artists now before the public."[1]

Near the end of 1904, when Maskelyne left the Egyptian Hall to take over his "New Home of Mystery" at St. George's Hall. Mr. Martin Chapender took over the entire management of the Egyptian Hall for the remaining weeks of it's run.[2]

He performed at the Egyptian Hall for the last Christmas season before the building was torn down. Just two weeks after performing at the Hall and before he was to have been married, he died at an early age from menigitis after an operation for abscess of the brain.

After Chapender's death the Magic Circle's chief founder Neil Weaver originally was going to call it the Martin Chapender Society in his friend's honor, but, this was not supported. Louis Nikola suggested the name Magic Circle pointing out that it had the same initials as Martin Chapender.[3]

He died from meningitis at the early age of 26 years.[4] [5]

Contributions to Magic

He devised a version of the Diminishing Cards with nesting pockets within the cards. His coin vanished "The Chapender Vanish" was published in Greater Magic.

Chapender's Method of palming coins is in Coin Magic by Jean Hugard.

Peter Warlock noted that Chapender performed Follow the Leader in 1899.


  1. Cover, Mahatma, Vol. 6, No. 1, July 1902, Martin Chapender, by T. Nelson Downs
  2. The Sphinx, Vol. 4, No. 1, March 1905, Obituary, page 2
  3. The Magic Circular, Vol. 36, No. 405, February 1942, Picture, page 85, Great Magicians I Have Known - (3) Martin Chapender, by Neil Weaver, page 86
  4. Stanyon's Magic, Vol. 5, No. 6, March 1905, Obituary, page 42
  5. Cover, Mahatma, Vol. 8, No. 9, March 19, Martin Chapender died, page 100