This is a well known illusion. Staring at the centre of the revolving spiral for 20 or 30 seconds and then looking at the back of one’s hand creates a sensation of creeping flesh. Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton made this in 2016 for display at Davenports magic museum in North Walsham, England.

Although the observer is simply looking at a 2D rotating image, the impression is one of looking down into the crater of a 3D rotating volcano. Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton made this in 2016 for display at Davenports magic museum in North Walsham, England.

In 2015 the bare mechanism of this electrically operated window figure was found in a Davenport store in very bad condition. The figure turned its head from side to side and raised and lowered its arms. In 2016 a Cambridge magician and family friend, Tony Middleton, had the vision to strip it down and re-engineer the figure, to convert it into a Chinese magician performing a magic trick. With the help of John Davenport, the figure now levitates a Chinese lantern up and down in the air, passing a ring over it to show there is nothing but magic holding the lantern suspended. Tony christened the magician Chung Ling Soo from the outset. The figure has been on display in the family’s magic museum in Norfolk, England. One of the photographs here shows Roy Davenport on the left and Tony Middleton on the right.

In 2016 a Cambridge magician and family friend, Tony Middleton, took an existing automaton of Snow White, which was part of the Davenport family collection, and converted it to this gypsy with a plasma ball. The original age of the electrically operated figure is not known, but is probably mid to late 20th century. One photograph shows Tony Middleton with the figure.

An excellent illusion. One pack of cards appears to be heavier than three packs. Purchased by John Davenport from Grand Illusions in 2015. https://www.grand-illusions.com