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Clatter Box by Jack Hughes

(c. 1949) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Jack Hughes invented the Clatter Box c. 1949 and it appears in his World of Magic Vol. 2.  It has been copied without permission by many magic dealers throughout the world over the years 🙁

The original Clatter Box was quite small and was made of metal. Jack changed the style of the box several times over the years, but the method of release remained the same.  This version is the wooden style that became more popular over time.

This Clatter Box takes a few tries to get comfortable setting it up, but once you have done it a few times it becomes second nature. It is important that you seat each section properly otherwise the box will fall apart too soon, or will not look solid. But if you do it right it looks very convincing and is a surprise to the audience when it all falls apart.

I thought this would complement the Joseph Silk Pistol perfectly and am looking forward to working on a Speed Demo this weekend.

The best way to perform this is to whisper to the spectator to time the pull of the knob with the firing of the silk pistol so that it looks like the silk literally flew inside the box 🙂

Effect: After removing a silk from it, the performer passes a polished box to a spectator to hold. Saying that he is going to pass a silk back to the box. The magician vanishes it and asks the volunteer to open the box. On doing so the victim is amazed to find that the box breaks into several pieces which fall to the ground with a crash, while the helper is left holding the handle from which hangs the missing silk.

Presentation Tips:

When working to an audience slow on the uptake it is as well to supply ‘clues’ as to what is going to happen so that the surprise of the crash does not cause the ‘Dumb Ones’ to overlook the comical situation. When you give your victim the box to hold ask him to hold it very firmly as at your last show the spectator dropped the box and nearly broke it. Moreover keep stopping your preparation for vanishing the silk to return to your helper to make sure that he is holding it securely.

Of course you are not restricted to this presentation. You can have it behind the scenes and get your assistant to load a borrowed handkerchief, a borrowed watch or some borrowed rings therein while you ill-treat the duplicates, for which you have switched the original articles, in the time honored manner. Here are a few other effects various magicians are working with this versatile prop:

  • To vanish the silk put it in a gun, aim at the box and instruct helper to open the box as you shoot. It appears as if you have shot the box to bits.
  • Remove a silk with a picture of a dog on it. Vanish it and the box is opened to reveal a string of sausages (Hot Dogs).
  • During a watch routine ask helper to look inside box for watch. When box is opened the Pawnbroker’s three brass balls are seen hanging from three ribbons. Attached to the center ribbon is a pawn ticket for a watch. (The balls are three discs of cardboard suitably colored).
    The helper is told to look after the box as it is an antique worth £50. When the box is opened, from the top hang four cards hinged together. The cards are marked ‘I’, ‘O’, ‘U’. ‘£50’ respectively.
  • Vanish an egg and find a latex chicken hanging from the top.
  • A scrawny or limp chicken can be concealed behind the partition. Openly place an egg in front of box. This is a hollow egg and has been cut in two and held together with a dab of wax. When box is opened the egg falls to the ground and breaks while from the handle hangs the chicken – JUST HATCHED!
  • Seeds are placed in box. When box is opened victim holds a bouquet.

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Approx. Price: $100.00 (2022) ***


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1 review for Clatter Box by Jack Hughes

  1. Andy Martin

    Jack Hughes invented the Clatter Box c. 1949 and it appears in his World of Magic Vol. 2.  It has been copied without permission by many magic dealers throughout the world over the years 🙁

    The original Clatter Box was quite small and was made of metal. Jack changed the style of the box several times over the years, but the method of release remained the same.  This version is the wooden style that became more popular over time.

    This Clatter Box takes a few tries to get comfortable setting it up, but once you have done it a few times it becomes second nature. It is important that you seat each section properly otherwise the box will fall apart too soon, or will not look solid. But if you do it right it looks very convincing and is a surprise to the audience when it all falls apart.

    I thought this would complement the Joseph Silk Pistol perfectly and am looking forward to working on a Speed Demo this weekend.

    The best way to perform this is to whisper to the spectator to time the pull of the knob with the firing of the silk pistol so that it looks like the silk literally flew inside the box 🙂

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