Review by Larry Wilfong for Improved 21st Century Rattle Box by Craig Brooks

Review by Larry Wilfong for Improved 21st Century Rattle Box by Craig Brooks
Review by Larry Wilfong for Improved 21st Century Rattle Box by Craig Brooks
5 out of 5

CREATIVE THINKING UPDATES A CLASSIC!

I’ve just received Craig’s latest "Improved" 21st Century Rattle Box and I must confess it is even better than I thought it was going to be!

It’s just the right size for vanishing a coin. It doesn’t look at all suspicious thanks to the almost square shape and relatively thin bottom (when compared to every other rattle box on the market).

The rattle mechanism locks and releases with ease.

The craftsmanship is superb and the price very reasonable.

All in all I’m anxiously awaiting other creations from Atlantis Magic.

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Unique Magic "T" Puzzle by Unknown

Review by Larry Wilfong for Unique Magic "T" Puzzle by Unknown
Review by Larry Wilfong for Unique Magic "T" Puzzle by Unknown
5 out of 5

Another Extremely well-made item!

Here’s another extremely well-made item of undetermined age/origin acquired by Ed from the Bert Adam’s Estate (Boston) in the late 1940’s to early 1950’s.

It is constructed of a very heavy dark wood that appears to be ebony. The two pieces are tightly held together as one by a firm tongue-in-groove assembly.

In this assembled condition the puzzle cannot be taken apart by the strongest of men (or women!). However, the Magician can separate it into two pieces at will without concealing it from view or adding or taking anything away, no magnets etc. .

After showing the pieces separated, the performer reassembles same and gives the "T" back to the audience participant to examine where they will find no clue as to how the separation was accomplished.

This is a nice heavy piece that "feels good" when you handle it. I wonder who the craftsman was that made this unique item?

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Beautiful Production Cage by Unknown

Review by Larry Wilfong for Beautiful Production Cage by Unknown
Review by Larry Wilfong for Beautiful Production Cage by Unknown
5 out of 5

What a Beautiful Piece!

This is a rare example of turn of the century craftsmanship >late 1800’s-early 1900’s<

Ed is not certain from which collection he acquired this fifty or more years ago, but it’s a beauty!

This piece is extrememly well-made and is in "like new" condition.

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Bonus Genius by Unknown

Review by Larry Wilfong for Bonus Genius by Unknown
Review by Larry Wilfong for Bonus Genius by Unknown
5 out of 5

An Oldie but Goodie!

Here’s and "Oldie, but a Goodie"!

This is an extremely olde Bonus Genius figure that is in excellent condition.

He vanishes after being placed within the accompanying bag. (His head is visible until the last second before the vanish is completed.)

The method is that described in the classic texts. This little guy has a lot of character!

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Invisable Silk Worm by Unknown

Review by Larry Wilfong for Invisable Silk Worm by Unknown
Review by Larry Wilfong for Invisable Silk Worm by Unknown
5 out of 5

I’ll Bet You Haven’t Seen This One!

Ed acquired this from the Bert Adams Estate (Boston) sometime in the 1940’s to early 1950’s. It has the look and feel of a much earlier piece (obviously not a Magic Shop item), but I’ve not found it described in any of the standard texts I’ve consulted.

Effect: A large velvet covered board (approximately 17 1/2 inches by 14 1/2 inches) with an easel back is sitting on a plain ungimmicked table. Two golden cords are anchored at the top of the two upper corners. A hook is affixed at the other end of each cord.

An orange silk handkerchief is freely displayed and spread out covering the front of the velvet board.

A wooden box (5 inches square) with a black spot in the center of the lid is opened and shown empty. This empty box is now suspended from the golden cords so it is hanging in the center of the silk-covered board.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT IS ERIE TO WATCH…

Very slowly the orange silk begins to melt into the wooden box! The hankerchief just keeps getting smaller and smaller. The Magician is not touching the handkerchief nor any of the apparatus while this event is taking place.

After the handkerchief has completely disappeared from sight, the Magician removes the closed box from the golden cords and brings it directly to the audience. The first point noted is that the black spot on the lid is not a hole, but simply a painted black circle. Next, the top, bottom and sides of the box are observed to be 100% solid and the hasp is securely closed (all of this is true!).

When the spectator opens the box, there’s the orange silk handkerchief residing within AND a previously vanished item can be found within its folds.

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Slydini Calendar Poster 1977 – No. 280 of 300 by Zoe Tucker

Review by Larry Wilfong for Slydini Calendar Poster 1977 - No. 280 of 300 by Zoe Tucker
Review by Larry Wilfong for Slydini Calendar Poster 1977 – No. 280 of 300 by Zoe Tucker
5 out of 5

Slydini Calendar Poster 1977

Titled "THE FATHER OF MODERN CLOSE-UP MAGIC", graphics by Zoe Tucker.

A beautiful poster depicting the Master, Slydini, in his most memorable poses.Ed was given this poster by Slydini. It is professionally preserved behind glass on an acid-free mounting.It is signed by Slydini.

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Slydini Treasures by Slydini

Review by Larry Wilfong for Slydini Treasures by Slydini
Review by Larry Wilfong for Slydini Treasures by Slydini
5 out of 5

Slydini Treasures

Slydini and Ed developed a very close personal relationship over the years. Ed was very much involved with the National Magic organizations in Boston, both as a promoter and Producer of several large Conventions. An almost immediate bond developed between the two that transcended Magic. Slydini often referred to Ed as his "Best Friend" in the world.

When the book The Magic of Slydini was first introduced Slydini was visiting a relative who lived near Boston. Ed opened his home to him and thus began a deep friendship that lasted throughout the rest of Slydini’s lifetime. While he was staying with Ed in Boston, he invited Ed to visit his relatives with him.

When Ed visited New York, he would stay with Slydini. Slydini always insisted Ed sleep on the bed and Slydini would sleep on the sofa. When one of Slydini’s students would arrive for a Magic lesson, Ed would leave the apartment and return after the lesson.

Slydini was always the Gentleman. Ed recalls how he(Ed) had been working on Slydini’s Coins Through Table for six months and proudly (although nervously) performed his newly gained technique from The Magic of Slydini book for the Master. Slydini chuckled and very respectfully told Ed that although he had learned the method well from the book, that method and performance was incorrect. He then very patiently took Ed from ground zero and taught him the correct presentation and handling. This was the only "lesson in Magic" Ed ever received from Slydini. Their relationship was based upon friendship and mutual trust and respect.

One of Ed’s favorite memories is accompanying Slydini on a lecture tour through Rome, Amsterdam, and London that lasted over a month. Here Ed was introduced to the works of Michelangelo and the great museums of the Art World.

He also discovered that Slydini was a wonderful cook and the creator of a truly world-class pasta sauce. (It took 2 days to make!)

As a gesture of their friendship, before Slydini was to undergo major surgery he gave Ed his diamond finger ring as a token of their friendship. This is the same ring you see in all the photos and videos of Slydini.

Pictured, too, is a Gold Coin bestowed upon Slydini by Dick Cavette after one of Slydini’s television appearances on the Dick Cavette Show. In Dick Cavette’s handwriting on the coin envelope is: To The Master–With Gratitude–Dick Cavette.

Evidence of the respect Slydini garnered around the world is the Gold Cartier (Paris) lighter given to Slydini by a prominent European Magical Authority (identity withheld by request) after Slydini consented to make a series of private instruction videos and give one-on-one training to this well-known personality.

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Houdini Poster (uncirculated) by Jerry Matalo

Review by Larry Wilfong for Houdini Poster (uncirculated) by Jerry Matalo
Review by Larry Wilfong for Houdini Poster (uncirculated) by Jerry Matalo
5 out of 5

What happens when printers try to be nice!

This is a very unique example of a helpful printer of days gone by making an honest mistake while trying to be helpful to the famous Harry Houdini.

This poster was obtained from Jerry Matalo (not certain of the correct spelling) who was Houdini’s metal worker. At some point in time after Houdini’s passing, he acquired many of Houdini’s show pieces (including curtains, etc.) and this poster.

The story is that Houdini had ordered a quantity of posters featuring his Upside Down Escape. Of course, the pictures supplied to the printer correctly showed Houdini Upside Down in the restraint.

The helpful(?) printer surmised there must have been an error in showing the performer Upside Down, so the printer took it upon himself to correct(?) the problem by changing the position of the performer so he was pictured upright.

If you look carefully at the poster you will see the locks are hanging in the wrong direction contrary to the laws of nature.

Houdini’s crew spotted the problem and supposedly the posters were never distributed to the public.

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Appearing Bird Cage by Merv Taylor

Review by Larry Wilfong for Appearing Bird Cage by Merv Taylor
Review by Larry Wilfong for Appearing Bird Cage by Merv Taylor
5 out of 5

Lucille Ball’s Bird Cage!

This appearing cage used by Lucy was given to Ed Rosenthal by Leon M. Leon as documented by the enclosed letter from Leon and his wife "Teddy" dated November 5, 1981.

LEON

Hi Ed..

Sorry to take so long keeping my promise to add a Merv Taylor Bird Cage to your magic collection.-But BOY! Have I been busy? The cage has been squirreled away, so I needed a lot of spare time to located it; But here it is,- and here is its story, (since every item in a collection should have a story.) This "BIRD CAGE" was used only one time,- Yet more people saw it, than ever saw any other single piece of magical apparatus. You ask, "HOW COME?"

Well, Lucille Ball used it in an "I Love Lucy" T.V. Show that broke all audience records in 1952. (and it is still showing some where in the world today.) After the filming, the prop man gave the "CAGE" to me. (I was sound man on the show.) Teddy wants to add to this "LETTER"(?) – so I’ll let her take over.

(THE FOLLOWING WORDS FROM TEDDY LEON ARE WRITTEN IN SCRIPT.)

My Dears – Things have been pretty hectic since we’ve returned home. I didn’t realize how much work, mail etc could accumulate in 3 weeks. Anyway we are about caught up. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with you both – short tho it was. You are delightful hosts. Thank you for allowing us the freedom of your home. We arrived home in good time tired but happy, after three weeks of fun and games. We still talk about our dinner with you at the Brown Derby – It was quite an experience. Again, thanks for your warm and gracious hospitality. Hope we see you soon. – Fondly, Teddy.

The shorter memo seems to be a type of "form letter" Leon gave to his friends to whom he gifted part of his collection…

A PERMANENT LOAN.

BECAUSE I ENJOY SHARING WHAT I HAVE WITH MY FRIENDS, PLEASE USE THIS IN ANY WAY YOU LIKE, FOR AS LONG AS YOU LIKE. YOU MAY DISPLAY IT, PERFORM WITH IT, HIDE IT AWAY IN YOUR COLLECTION OR LEND IT TO ANYONE YOU LIKE. HOWEVER, (AS LONG AS I AM ALIVE) PLEASE DO NOT SELL, TRADE, NOR GIVE IT AWAY.- SHOULD YOU NO LONGER WANT IT, THE ONLY WAY TO DISPOSE OF IT IS TO RETURN IT TO ME.

Leon M. Leon 10718 Acama Street North Hollywood California 91602

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Review by Larry Wilfong for Snake Basket by Jack Hughes

Review by Larry Wilfong for Snake Basket by Jack Hughes
Review by Larry Wilfong for Snake Basket by Jack Hughes
5 out of 5

The Grand Daddy of Snake Baskets

This is the Grand Daddy to Chance Wolf’s wonderful limited edition Snake Basket.

In typical Hughes’ fashion an ingenious combination of unexpected events occur with very little effort on the part of the performer. The actual "mechanism" or to be more correct COMBINATION of mechanisms operates on several low tech and very reliable principles.

There are NO ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS and NO WIND-UP MOTORS, etc. to worry the performer. All of the SIMPLE mechanics are triggered from OUTSIDE the basket.

Initially a green snake with yellow spots shyly pokes his head out of the top of his basket and then stands up tall with the basket lid spinning on his head

Thus begins a very entertaining SERIES of effects including a comic revelation of a (really) freely selected colored ping pong ball when Sammy the Snake physically tosses the chosen colored ball out of the basket.

A comedy interlude is included when a smaller (rattle?) snake jumps out of the basket, and a patch of grass appears on Sammy’s head> all accompanied by the appropriate scripted patter.

The original instruction sheets which are still with this gem include patter and full presentations by June Cochran and another full routine by John G. Turner.

This thoroughly enjoyable set is climaxed by Sammy’s going down into his basket and sifting through a full deck of cards to find a signed card (no force)…of course he tosses several cards up and out of the basket in the process…only to rise out of his basket one final time with the chosen card proudly displayed in his mouth!

This review and picture is courtesy of THE ED ROSENTHAL COLLECTION.

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