Ludwig Döbler

(* October 5, 1801 in Vienna, Austria – † April 18, 1864 in Gstettenhof near Türnitz, Lower Austria)

Lithograph by Josef Kriehuber (1845)

Ludwig Döbler was born in Vienna in 1801. At thirty-six, he married his future wife, Elise Meyer.

Döbler was considered one of the most distinguished magicians of his time, who even performed in front of queens, kings and emperors. Döbler attended the engraving school of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1820. He developed tricks based on physics and mechanics through his acquired knowledge and had his first minor performance successes. He was discovered by chance by Klemens Wenzel Lothar Prince of Metternich-Winneburg and as a result was able to perform for Emperor Franz II in Pressburg. Döbler made several small guest appearances before embarking on a long tour of Europe. At the invitation of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, his journey also took him to Weimar. A frequently recited saying Goethe wrote in Döbler’s family album: “Need another diploma sealed? Impossible things you have made us believe.”

In 1839 he returned to the Theater in der Josefstadt and played with tremendous success over 60 sold-out performances in a row.

One of the most famous tricks is the production of bouquets of flowers from an empty top hat. From this time comes the saying: “Here a posy, there a posy, another posy”. Döbler, like Robert-Houdin, set new standards on the theatrical stage. He used poetic lectures, dressed very elegantly and at the same time set fashion trends.

In 1849 he surprisingly retired to his Klafterbrunn estate in Lower Austria. He became the mayor of the municipality of Eschenau. Döbler received the Golden Cross of Merit for his work in local politics. Around 1860 he moved to Gstettenhof near Türnitz and died here in 1864.

To this day, Döbler’s work continues to influence many generations of magicians.

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