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Signor Blitz

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Signor Blitz
BornAntonio van Zandt
June 21 1810
DiedJanuary 28 1877 (age 66)
Resting placeCypress Hills Cemetary, Brooklyn, New York
CategoriesBooks by Signor Blitz

Signor Blitz (1810 - 1877) born Antonio van Zandt in Deal Kent County, England, was an accomplished magician, ventriloquist (with his dummy Bobby), juggler and bird handler. He would advertise himself as a Moravian as he found he could get more work in England as a foreigner. He even perpetuated the myth in his autobiography.


Antonio Blitz arrived in America from Europe in 1834. He was a great showman who used magic in his acts usually accompanied by humor. Laughter and mystification were his goals.

At the height of his career, a dozen other magicians were performing under the name "Blitz" in an effort to capitalize on his popularity.

His favorite effect was the Bullet Catching act (but eventually dropped it as being too dangerous) and Plate Spinning.

He was living in Philadelphia at the time of his death where gave lessons from his home .

His grave was later rediscovered in New York by Benjilini and has since been restored.



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  • New York Times Obituary
  • Life and Adventures of Signor Blitz By Antonio Blitz (1872)
  • The Old and the New Magic, by Henry R. Evans, 1906, BLITZ, page 178
  • M-U-M, Vol. 2, No. 2, November 1912, THE GRAVE OF SIGNOR ANTONIO BLITZ, page 2
  • The Magic World, Vol. 4, No. 6, September 1920, MAGICIANS PAST AND PRESENT, by Edwards. SIGNOR BLITZ, page 71
  • The Magic Wand, Vol. 14, No. 128, December 1925, The Annals of Conjuring, by Sidney W. Clarke, about Signor Blitz, page 199
  • The Annals of Conjuring, by Sydney W. Clarke (reprint 2001), 8. Mechanical Conjurers, Blitz, page 206
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 45, No. 1, March 1946, Signor Blitz, Thaumaturgist and Ventriloquist, by John Mulholland, page 14
  • MYSTICS QUARTERLY, Vol. 2, No. 3, Winter 1978, SIGNOR BLITZ' FIFTY YEARS - Robert E. Olson, page 5
  • M-U-M, Vol. 70, No. 2, July 1980, THE SOUTHERN TOUR OF SIGNOR BLITZ, by Charles J. Pecor, page 18
  • M-U-M, Vol. 70, No. 3, August 1980, THE SOUTHERN TOUR OF SIGNOR BLITZ, by Charles J. Pecor, page 12 (continued)
  • The New Tops, Vol. 30, No. 1, January 1990, MEN OF MAGIC by Robert Olson, page 31
  • Bio-bibliographisches Lexikon der Zauberkünstler Edition Volker Huber, April 2002, Zandt, Antoni van = Signor Antonio Blitz, engl. Zauberkünstler (*21.06.1810 Deal, England; †28.01.1877 Philadelphia, USA), page 379