Master Payne is releasing a pet pocket trick from his Steampunk Show. Key of the Chrononaut is an updated and steam fitted adaptation of the Rings of Hindustan trick. A classic effect featured in Dunniger’s Complete Encyclopedia of Magic (also known as: the Chinese Ring Illusion, The Two Ring Trick, Magical Mystery Rings, the Chinese Rings of Mystery), sold by Edwells c. 1933 and E-Z Magic c. 1966. A particularly nice version was sold by Alan Wong too.
Brian Cook has constructed this prop out of the finest of materials and to his exacting specifications. The gears have been made from the finest walnut and fitted with brass like interior rings. They truly are a work of art. Plus Brian has added his own twist on this routine which allows both gear rings to be examined at the beginning and conclusion of the trick, allowing you to fool those in the know.
This is the original version of Dial-X invented by U.F. Grant and Schuyler Reynolds and what a clever and useful device it is. Small enough to fit in the pocket, amazing enough to carry with you. It is a quite stunning to think that 70 years on it still works perfectly and has not lost any of it’s charm.
The idea for Dial-X was so unique that Grant & Reynolds filed and received a USA Patent for the idea: #US2639923A, so when you see the Patent Pending sign on this effect they were not kidding, it was titled Mechanical Puzzle and granted on May 26, 1953.
Danny Korem created a very elegant (and expensive) Zig Zag Card c. 1978. Then Mike Shelley and Morty Rudnick of Magical Mysteries released this version c. 1988 streamlining the method and it has been copied ever since.
It is simpler than Danny’s version, and is pretty much perfect. Very easy to do, with basic props made from thin artboard that don’t scream gimmicked, and there are no angle issues either. You you can sign the center of the card and watch the middle with the signature be slid all the way over right before your eyes!
I have a few other versions of this effect, but there is no question that this version created by Mike Shelley and Morty Rudnick of Magical Mysteries is the best I have seen. (Mike also created jumbo versions of this including one with Mickey Mouse, and he had Viking Mfg. create a collectors version made out of wood. In my opinion the simplicity of the original was also one of the reasons it was so effective.)
This is Vincenzo Di Fatta version of Mike Shelley’s and Morty Rudnick’s Zig Zag Card Outdone. Even though it came out 21 years later it is not more deceptive. The plastic manufacture makes it more durable and solid, but it is about twice as thick as the original and it is easier to flash things if you don’t keep the unit straight on. It is still a great illusion, but I just think the original is better.
The amazing Dutch FISM 1958 Grand Prix winner Tonny Van Dommelen created one of the most overlooked close-up miracles ever when in 1965 he started selling his wonderful close-up routine: Dizzy Dominoes.
There have been many versions sold by dealers since then, but one of the most attractive and visually best was this original set from Holland. In fact, the Dutch micro-magic master Eddy Taytelbaum also created a set and his looked very similar to these ones from Tonny Van Dommelen (see final photo).
What a rare beauty this item is from the great German Craftsman Tony Lackner. If you are a fan of his Hand of Cleopatra or his Wandering Mummies you will love this item. This is the Deluxe version c. 1994 Zodiak Exklusiv and it is a better quality version of the earlier release called Zodiak Erganzung c. 1988.
It uses the same types of materials and is beautifully made. The disc will mysteriously reveal their freely chosen symbol every time.
In Vol. 9 of Dr. Albo (pg. 32) it states “the method by which this divination is accomplished was first alluded to in Hocus Pocus Junior in 1624″, though I was unable to find the reference. A detailed account of how it works can be found in Dr. Albo Vol. 5 (pg. 218). Ads started appearing c. 1926 in The Sphinx for Floyd Thayer’s elegant wooden version. The earliest ad that I could find for the more common brass and nickel plated pictured on this page was c. 1929.
These older versions are the best ones, all recent metal ones I have tried are nowhere near as well made or precise.
Stan Watson was a talented and generous professional performer and I was lucky enough to be at the Sussex Magic Circle when he was a member. You could always see the difference between his performances and the other guys. His scissors are absolute gold and if you are doing the Linking Rings, then you need this hacksaw. My all time favorite comedy magician Bob Read used to use them to great effect (of course Bob could make anything look Hilarious) 🙂
At only 10” long and 2-½” high, the gaffed saw is the perfect size, large enough to be seen, but small enough to be convenient. Heavily chrome plated and the blade finished to look real, but be harmless.
The Imp Bottle (or Bottle Imp as it was also known) was first sold in the United States c. 1873 in the Hartz Catalog. The Imp Bottle was clearly described in Professor Hoffman’s Modern Magic c. 1876 and more recently in Dr. Albo Volume 9. The basic idea was advanced considerably by Floyd Thayer when he invented the Mysterious Jug c. 1926 which was the same basic effect with a different and easier to manage method.
Colin’s version is nicely turned and polished and a talking point before the magic even begins. It will stand erect or lay down whatever you want but only if you know the magic secret! This beautiful little pocket trick lends itself to lots of fun and with a nice story line you can even add it to your current repertoire as a novelty.
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