Ionia "The Enchantress"
(b.1888 - 1973)
Née Clementine de Vere
The Enchantress, Enigma, Goddess of Mystery,
L 'Inspiration, IONIA
Magician, Illusionist, Mime
Place of Birth
Ionia specialized in grand illusion. Her act was charmingly decorated. Ionia wore a costume in a mixed Egyptian-oriental style.
Her act was nicely staged in spectacular fashion and neatly performed. She would end her show with the magical appearance of two fair maids in picturesque attitude from an empty, draped platform.
Most of the images that remain of Ionia are posters. It's recorded that there were 22 different posters images by Moody Brothers of England, of which only nine are known today.
Ionia the Enchantress was born Née Clementine de Vere in Brussels on December 20 1888.
Née was the fourth daughter and eighth child of Charles and Julia (Okita) de Vere.
She had seven siblings; most of them were born on the Continent, yet all were British by birthright.
In 1892, the Vere family moved to Paris, France.
While living in France, she was influenced by many popular entertainers who played the Folies Bergére, such as Servais Le Roy, Herrmann and Harry Keller.
In 1904, at the young age of 15, Clementine married an American circus performer named Herman Weedon who went by the name of Wirtheim for the term of their marriage. He was 27.
Herman contracted with Max Stein in producing a show for Ionia in Vienna.
Three years later They had their first and only child, Frank H. Weedon. Clementine and Herman eventually drifted apart and divorced June 23, 1917.
In 1909, Clementine and her brother, Camille, helped their father run his magic business in Paris. That same year, Camille died of diabetes and Charles de Vere sold the shop.
Charles retired to a country estate, Rosny sous Bois, ten miles out of Paris.
According to P.T. Selbit (Wizaed June 1910), " he (Charles de Vere) is devoting his untiring energies to the exploitation of a big magical show that will be presented by one of his lovely daughters.
In 1911 "Ionia" was born. Charles de Vere, with his talents and the act that would eventually feature six tons of equipment, 22 lithographs and a crew of nine people.
On January 30 1911, Ionia Debuted in Britain at the Bermingham Hippodrome. The show was a huge success.
Since then, Ionia had performed in Vienna, Berlin, Egypt, Copenhagen, Paris and the Congo.
Ionia's grand illusion show ran it's course through the end of 1911. There after, she was sighted in Vienna in 1914 performing a pantomime act as "Ionia the Enchantress."
Years later Ionia married into royalty. Around 1913 Ionia met Prince Vladimir Eristavi Tchitcherine in Austria.
They married on June 21, 1919 in Paris and Ionia became Princess Clementine Eristavi Tchitcherine.
Nine years later, in 1928 Ionia divorced him.
Ionia kept the title "Princes" and resided in Paris much of her life. In 1973, she was buried in Paris beside her mother and father.
Biographical information courtesy of Charles Greene.
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