This is Richard Gerlitz’s beautiful re-imagination of Loyd’s wonderful Jewel Chest of Ching See that was first advertised for $25 in Genii Magazine in November 1944 (Vol. 9 – No. 3). The Chest of Ching See itself is most likely derived from the Phantom Die Cabinet offered by Thayer Quality Magic as far back as 1912. In the Thayer Catalog #8 of 1936 the price for the Phantom Die was just $12.50. Owen’s also have produced an outstanding Phantom Die Cabinet that was advertised in the 1997 catalog for $650. Mike O’Dowd also created a version of the Jewel Chest of Ching See in the 1970’s.
But all of them pale to this rare and magnificent treasure released by Richard Gerlitz in 2002. This was one of Richard’s early releases and he only created ten sets. This Jewel Chest and Richard’s stunning Butterfly Boxes are by far my favorites. Not only has Richard created a stunning piece of apparatus to look at, he has also improved the mechanics and made it smoother and quieter and created a significantly more interesting routine involving the theft of Sea-Ling’s treasure.
These almost never come up for sale because there are only ten in the world and there are way more avid Gerlitz collectors out there, so when they do become available you need to move. Hard to believe in 2002 these only cost $795. Expect to pay a lot more than that today.
Highly Recommended for anyone who loves perfect and beautiful apparatus that will last a lifetime and appreciate in value too.
From 1995 this is my favorite Fabrice Delaure creation. You know when something is your favorite because you buy and sell it multiple times – this is my third set of these little guys and like the previous two it works perfectly, even though Fabrice has not made these for well over a decade.
Fabrice no longer makes magic like this – it is all white board and iphone related gadgets. Whilst some of these are cool, I don’t think they are as magical, since there are so many screen transmission systems available to the general public anyway.
The effect is simple: you hand the box of “giants” to the audience and they can take out as many of them as they desire – you can be out of the room and never need to see or touch the box again. I have affixed the names of American Presidents to the bottom of each giant so you can tell who they are. I leave a wallet in full view of the spectators, and when I return, I pick up the wallet and unzip the compartment and there are 3 (say) cards in there each depicting the name of the president.
What I like about the box is that it is not high tech or glitzy – I preferred the original brown wooden boxes he used, but this black one up close doesn’t look as modern as it looks in the photos, and certainly looks devoid of any electronics.
The transmitter and receiver work 100% of the time and are very reliable even 20 years later.
Highly Recommended for collector’s of fine old school electronic miracles!
If you think that rampant piracy in magic is a new thing, think again. In 1948 William W. Larsen, Sr. (the owner of Thayer Mfg. Co.) took out an impassioned full page ad in Genii Magazine expressing his disdain for the inscrutable magic dealers pirating Thayer’s Prediction Chest (which retailed at the time for $250). Mr Larsen’s solution was to introduce the beautiful and practical Dr. Q Prediction Chest for a fraction of the price of its bigger brother (just $12.50 then) in the hope that the pirates would wholesale the Dr. Q instead of ripping the bigger one off, and that the average magician would purchase from Thayer directly. I don’t know how successful Mr. Larsen was in his endeavor of stopping the ripoffs, but I am thankful for the introduction of this amazing and versatile prediction chest.
This is the Owen Magic Supreme version and although I’ve seen a painted one from the Carl Owen period I prefer this one as is more natural and closer to the original Thayer version. Although some of the double box and key loader systems for prediction chests are cool and James Bond like, for my money you can’t go wrong with the Dr. Q Prediction Chest. It is a manual load but the secret is hidden so well, and the box is made so well it really goes above suspicion, looks perfect when you reveal a full size prediction, and never fails on you.
If I had to choose between my other favorite Prediction Chest by Tim Star and the Dr. Q it would be real close and the Dr. Q is five times cheaper and more versatile. I think you’ll love it as much as me!
The Ball Vase was first described over 250 years ago in Dean’s The Whole Art of Legerdemain (1763). The Ball Vase is probably one of the most common effects in every Children’s Magic Set and for this reason it quickly gets ignored because we’ve all seen them before.
However, when you pick up a Ball Vase from Richard Spencer everything changes. These beauties are breathtaking and look and work flawlessly! As much as I love the work created by my friend Kent Bergmann at 3D Magic Works you’re never going to compete with the almost primal attraction many of us older guys have to real wood. The touch, weight and smell just trigger something that synthetic materials can’t – solid wood just feels right (although I will say Kent is getting closer on each release!).
These Ball Vases in Mesquite are at a price point that you don’t need to break the bank to purchase one. However, you have to ask yourself when you see something this beautiful how long will it be before you are stampeding for one of these bad boys? I don’t think it will be very long at all.
These are perfect. Highly Recommended for Magic Collector’s and Lovers of Fine Art everywhere.
In 1995, consummate magic collector William H. McIlhany commissioned the master craftsman and inventor Martin Lewis of Magickraft Studios to create this beauty. And what a wonderful and rare piece of real magic it is. The effect comes from Martin’s father’s (Eric C. Lewis) book The Crowning Miracles (1983, pg: 176-179), and according to a letter from Martin Lewis there were only seven created.
Not only is this a beautiful prop the way it works is truly magical. There are no buttons to press, nothing to replace after each performance, no electronics and barely any sounds. You fill the elegant wine glass, place it on the tray, briefly show the inside of the wooden chimney, and place it over the glass, and in just a few seconds nearly all of the liquid disappears. Really a clever piece of magic from an idea by Louis Histed.
A beautiful set of dominoes were custom created for Victor and Marcelo Contento by a real Domino manufacturer in 1998 to showcase this effect by Kirk Charles. A standard set of dominoes is displayed and a prediction is made. The dominoes are placed into the velvet bag, shaken and spilled on the table. All the face down dominoes are removed. The remaining face up dominoes are collected, placed in the bag and the process is repeated until just one domino remains – it always matches the prediction – which can be different for repeat performances.
I love this easy to do effect and it has been unavailable for almost twenty years and these dominoes will last a lifetime. They also match the other domino effect put out by Victor and Marcelo: Crazy Dominoes.
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 the best set by a mile was this beautiful set from Victor & Marcelo Contento. These were produced in 1992 and have been off the market for about twenty years. Victor & Marcelo had a custom set of professional grade Dominoes created by a real Domino manufacturer and nothing else has ever come close. To top it off they added an extra gimmick, not in the original Dizzy Dominoes, and came up with four routines from Bob Farmer, Kirk Charles and Marcelo Contento calling the new set: Crazy Dominoes.
You can do everything that you could do with the original Dizzy Dominoes, with dominoes transposing under seemingly impossible conditions, and what’s more everything can be left for examination! In addition, Kirk Charles offers a routine based on a Monte theme and Bob Farmer describes a swindle which will allow you to fleece your friends and neighbors.
These are a beautiful set, clean, effective, straight to the point magic and easy to do! What is more they perfectly match the other Domino miracle put out by Victor & Marcelo by Kirk Charles: Nostradominus.
If you are unlucky enough to be the wife of a magician you’re going to be forced to watch a lot of magic during your lifetime and most of the time you will not be amazed, amused or even entertained. In fact, in our home we have a phrase: “bile rising” and often just the thought of seeing another magic trick triggers the BR response. So imagine my joy when I showed this card trick to my wife – and she smiled, laughed, loved it and was amazed too. When your long suffering wife enjoys an effect you know you are onto a winner.
What I love about this effect is that it is simple to understand and direct to perform, and apart from having the card chosen and returned to the deck the spectator does all the handling and counting of the cards. The Computer Deck animations and sounds created by the amazing Bill Spooner are striking and precisely what you would imagine a real computer deck would look like. Bill has clearly thought through the creation of this wonderful deck and it shows. The circuit board is professionally engineered and works perfectly. Even the rechargeable battery can be replaced unlike so many other devices I’ve had over the years, but the battery seems to last for a very long time anyway.
The unit comes with printed and video instructions, which is so useful and rare these days and Bill goes into some detail about the performance and maintenance of the effect.
I have included a quick demo video just to show you the basic routine and I plan working on this and getting it out on the road this holiday season so hopefully I’ll get some live reactions captured, but based on my wife’s I am confident this is a real winner.
The effect is easy to do and I made one simple change to the routine to avoid any real delays or skill when setting up the deck. You only need to be able to control their chosen card to the top and the rest is simple and Bill provides two different methods. In the demo the card appears at position 8 in the deck, but the computer can be set to show any number between 00 and 31 which is perfect for repeat performances.
I rarely buy electronic magic these days, no matter how well made it is because sooner or later it will fail, but the impact of the leds and sounds this deck makes is so strong it is worth it, and I am confident I will have many years of use out of this item.
Highly Recommended for Performers who like to Entertain and Amaze everywhere.
What a clever and clean take on Jack Hughes’ Card Go premise. This really is a surprise beauty built by Alan Wright for Supreme Magic in 1975 based on one of the earliest ideas from The Great Norman.
It consists of an attractive anodised metal display stand in which a signed playing card is placed and easily seen by the audience. It is covered with a handkerchief and handed to a spectator to hold. The balance of the desk is gathered up, wrapped with a rubber band and given to another spectator.
On command the spectator removes the handkerchief and the card has vanished, only to be found back in the deck the other spectator is holding.
This is a beautifully self-contained device that you’ll love playing with and I haven’t seen another like it.
Wow Kent’s 3D magic line is growing in leaps and bounds. The latest two items I have received are really raising the bar as what to expect from 3D printed magic today. I don’t think any of the other 3D printed items I have seen get close to the quality and effort that Kent is putting into them. If I didn’t know better Kent is trying to make you forget you even want real wooden items, whereas many other creators are just using 3D printers to get items out quicker.
What I continue to marvel at is how much thought goes into the size and shape of every piece. Kent thinks through his treasures both from a Collector’s standpoint with items sitting pretty on the shelf and a performers standpoint actually carrying and presenting the effects.
The effect for this item is clean and straightforward. You show the spectator an all white mummy resting in the sarcophagus. Then they get to choose one of six colored chips in a fair way and that chip is placed on top of the sarcophagus, which when opened now displays a mummy of the chosen color.
What is even better is that for repeat performances the mummy and chip chosen can be any one of six different colors. Although this is not a trick you could repeat to the same audience immediately.
If you are already on board with Kent’s 3D Magic Works you’ll love this and if not, this would be a perfect place to start.