The magician shows a stand on which is placed a wooden frame which has been shown to break into two across the hole in the centre of the frame. The magician hands out a card for examination and then demonstrates that it fits inside the frame, the hole in the card coinciding with the hole in the frame. The card is placed back on the table. The magician then shows that the glass chimney fits through the hole in the frame, where it is left in position and a silk handkerchief pushed through so that it hangs out from both ends. The magician again picks up the card and pushes it into the top slot in the frame. It should of course come to rest when it hits the top part of the chimney but, with the correct magic word, the card is pushed right through the chimney and handkerchief and down to the bottom of the frame. The apparatus can be shown all around. The final applause comes when the magician removes the top half of the frame and lifts out the card and chimney, showing that the card really is threaded onto the chimney. The manufacturer is unknown, but Chris Cross pointed out that the same effect called ‘Improbability’ was sold by the National Magic Company and Sherms. Bob Albo describes the effect in detail in Volume III of his Classic Magic series.
This box contains a large variety of shapes which help the artiste create interesting and complex shadowgraphy images. The contents of the box closely match the items described in Carl Willmann’s book ‘Handschatten-Spiele’. Towards the end of the book he lists various objects and says that ‘All items listed under No. 35 – 106 are packed together in a fine box Mk. 50—.’ This is the box to which he refers. Click View Details to see the additional illustrations of the book and the labels on the packaging of the objects. Some labels mention Bartl and Willmann and others mention Bartl, so at least some of the contents must be circa 1920. Also shown are three examples of the metal and composite objects alongside their illustration in Willmann’s book. From top to bottom, the three objects are: one of the hats for a happy couple; a trombone; a balcony with a bell which can be rung mechanically.
This magically themed bar was at Le Meridien hotel, Piccadilly, London. It was very close to the site of the Egyptian Hall on Piccadilly, where Maskelyne and Cooke presented magic shows for many years.
Lewis Davenport had this miniature lens produced showing a publicity postcard drawn in 1930 by George Cooke (who was not the Cooke of Maskelyne and Cooke). The miniature lens fitted into a ring and would have served as a novelty give away. When held very close to the eye, and looking through the lens towards a bright light, the image becomes visible. Details of Stanhope lenses can be found on the web. It is very hard to obtain a photograph of what is seen when you look through the lens. We wish to thank Ken Scott for the very clear image which is illustrated here.
British magician Cliff Townsend, one time President of the British Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, had these corks made up as a novelty give away. Each cork has his name printed on it. Two corks are needed for a baffling stunt. The magician places one cork in the fork between thumb and first finger of their left hand, and the second cork in the same position of their right hand. The magician moves their hands together and then separates them, showing that they now hold each cork between thumb and finger, but this time the cork that was in the left hand is now in the right hand and visa versa. It looks so easy but when someone else tries, they find that the corks lock together and it is impossible to separate their hands.
The magician is the only person who can make King Tutankhamen come to life and rise out of the sarcophagus. This magnetically controlled novelty was made by Fairylite, England.
This item could be seen as a puzzle or a trick. The idea is to remove the ring from the rope. However, the knot on the rope is sealed with sealing wax. One look at it tells you the task is topologically impossible – that is unless you know the very cunning secret. The advertisement is from a Davenports catalogue. Philip Treece has some interesting information on this item in his newsletter here.
A sheet of glass is placed in the mahogany box which is then closed. A ball bearing is placed on the top of the glass and it then magically sinks slowly through the glass and falls out of the bottom of the box. Everything may be examined. This Davenports item is stamped with a demon head trademark on the inside of the lid. The trick was sold complete with a felt lined storage box. Also illustrated is a Davenport advertisement that makes it clear the firm was not pleased about what they considered to be American ‘rip offs’. The effect and secret is described on page 164 of ‘Further Classic Magic with Apparatus’ by Robert J. Albo.