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Hemingway Lock by Collectors’ Workshop(c. 1984) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)
For many years Collector’s Workshop has made the Hemingway Lock, a mechanical prop designed for a presentation of the standard Seven Keys to Baldpate plot. Although the workings of this mechanical lock are not unique, the lock itself is. It is very large, weighing almost two pounds, with a shackle that protrudes two inches high and is 3/8 of an inch thick. The lock is bright polished chrome, round, but with a flat bottom. It has a large engraved logo on the front with both wording and an American flag. The lock not only opens a wide distance, it springs open with a very loud and solid snap.
The keys are each distinguished by being covered with a different colored slipcover and mounted individually on heavy key rings. Because the keys are color coded, the performer has some extra performance material available. After five spectators each choose a key, trade if they want to, and settle on one, the routine might progress along a color-reading path.
Effect: Five different colored keys are placed in a strikingly beautiful antique, hand-crafted, gold inlaid brandy snifter and passed through the audience. Four members freely select a key, leaving one for the performer. Keys may be exchanged among spectators and performer. Finally, one key remains in the goblet, this key going to the performer.
The spectator’s each try their key to no avail, the performer’s key is now inserted and it OPENS the lock!
It’s a reputation-maker. To be sure, some marvelous versions of this effect exist on the market today. Some rely on batteries and radio transmission. Others have incorporated locks that were well-gimmicked, but were small and insubstantial, as compared to the spectacular effect. This lock is a world-beater. No electronics, no switches of any kind. It is one hefty piece of work weighing almost two pounds. It is a heavy, polished chrome padlock of imposing construction. And, when it opens, at the peak moment of dramatic tension, it literally ‘springs’ open with a resounding snap!
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Approx. Price: $89.50 (2005) ***
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