Belgian-born Clementine De Vere was the daughter of magicians Charles De Vere and his wife Julia ("Okita").
Though she had seven siblings, Clementine was by far the most talented and ambitious of the De Vere children.
In show business from the time she was an infant, she rebelled against her parents' demands and eloped with a circus aerialist named Herman Wirtheim when she was just 15 years old. They had a son, Frank, three years later.
They soon discovered that her magical talents were more profitable for them than his circus skills. With the backing of her father, in 1911 she had a huge and successful show as "Ionia, the Goddess of Mystery", or "The Enchantress".
The show was lavish, with tons of magical equipment and sets, and elaborate Egyptian costumes for Clementine and her female asistants.
As her fame grew, her patience with her husband faded. They were divorced in 1917, and she married again in 1919.
Her second husband was Prince Vladimir Eristavi-Tchitcherine, true royalty which gave her a title. Though she divorced him in 1928, she continued to call herself "Princess" for the rest of her life.
Shortly after she retired to a comfortable home in Paris. The fiercely independent Ionia lived a very long life. She is buried in Paris, ironically right next to her parents.
Credit: This biography originated on MagicTricks.com. Please credit this source if you use this information.
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