This is a version of the old ‘pea house’ trick. The close-up magician shows a small metal bottle and a ball bearing. The ball bearing is dropped in a hole in the bottle. When the magician turns the bottle over, the ball bearing doesn’t drop out. However, whenever a spectator tries this, the ball bearing falls out. Complete with instructions.

The magician is able to produce a selected picture or card within this previously empty frame.

The pen, which can be examined before and after, is balanced on the top of a glass and then moves magically in a variety of ways. As the instructions say: ‘No thread or magnets’. Copyright 2003 Light, Power, Magic LLC.

The instructions say this is ‘the magical way to “steal” a lady’s valuable ring.’ There are two brass boxes and a lady places her ring in one box and a penny is placed in the other. The contents magically change places and the lady ends up with the penny. An honest magician returns the ring to the lady!

The magician places a carrot in the larger of the two holes and demonstrates that the chopper is strong enough to chop the carrot in two. The magician then invites a spectator to put their own finger through the hole. Needless to say their finger survives the chop. Unknown manufacturer.

This French box beautifully decorated in Napoleon III style is also expertly made. In the usual drawer box trick, the magician opens the drawer to show that the box is empty. When closed and reopened, the drawer is now full of whatever the magician wishes. This box goes one step further. After the first production the magician can disassemble the box to show it is empty (see photographs), but when reassembled a second production can be made. We have the provenance for this item in the collection. It was purchased by John Gambling from De Vere in Paris around 1896. John Gambling sold it to Claude Perry in the 1940s. It then passed to David Cridland who gave it to John and Anne Davenport.

Details of boxes such as this one are described in Professor Hoffmann’s book ‘Modern Magic’. With the agreement of Marco Pusterla we have included a link to his blog here where he discusses this type of drawer box.