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MAGICAL MASTERPIECES is no mere fanciful title.

It is an apt description of a selection

from the accumulated repertoire of a practical magician whose outstanding characteristic is the painstaking perfection and stamp of individuality of all his productions. It is safe to say that if a new book of magic provides only one workable and suitable addition to the reader's store it is a sound investment. The magician who cannot find many more than one acceptable item herein must indeed be hard to please. A wealth of valuable material is offered. This is not a book for idle reading alone, although even as such it is an entertainment in itself.

It is a book for reading and reading

again and oft repeated reference. It is a store-house of ideas to be placed in the magician's library and taken out from time to time for reference.

To-day he may find something for immediate

addition to his programme. A year hence, two years hence, many years hence, he may still find something new. If he reads between the lines, he will not only absorb new ideas, he will learn something of the writer's secret of developing ideas and acquire habits of thought that will enable him to do likewise.

Unhampered by

confinement to a single type, the keynote of the volume is variety, and its contents range from subtle sleight-of-hand tricks without visible appliances to elaborate

mechanical

devices of extreme

intricacy and some entirely new suggestions in the way of selfcontained illusions.


MAGICAL MASTERPIECES


GOLDSTONSBEST

\

IS THE ^ WORLDS ^ BEST

j


H>k«>U

MAGICAL MASTERPIECES By

LOUIS NIKOLA

COPYRIGHTED IN ALL COUNTRIES.

ALADDIN HOUSE, 14, GREEN STREET, LEICESTER SQUARE, LONDON, W.C. 2. PRINTED IN ENGLAND


CONTENTS. THE FEAST OF LANTERNS

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Frontispiece

INTRODUCTION

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7

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13

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CATCHING A CARD ON A KNIFE POINT

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17

A TREACLE TRICK

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24

CARD CRICKET

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25

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31

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T H E DISAPPEARING CLOAK A DISAPPEARING WALKING STICK FIRE AND WATER

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MAGIC PHOTOGRAPHY

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A TRANSFORMING CARD TABLE

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39

DYEING SILKS

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DYEING SILKS. NE PLUS ULTRA

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54

THE GREAT LEMON

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59

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67

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" BUNGLO "

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A RING AND AN ORANGE A RING AND A DOVE

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69

WITH A WATCH

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73

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79

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THE NEST OF BOXES

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A NEW METHOD IN THE SMOKE TRICK

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84

THE INCORRIGIBLE CIGARS

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87

A SUPER RICE BOWLS TRICK

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97

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How

I SAW THE GREAT INDIAN ROPE TRICK

THE TRUTH ? ABOUT THE INDIAN ROPE TRICK

HI

TRANSIT OF WINE

112

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THE RECIPE FOR DIAMONDS OFF WITH HIS HEAD

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118 123


6

CONTENTS.

AN EXTEMPORISED DRUM PRODUCTION

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128

ANOTHER DRUM LOAD

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134

OPTICAL DELUSION

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136

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THE POWER OF SUGGESTION

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143

A MESSAGE FROM MARS

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146

MARVELLOUS ADDITION

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157

A MAGIC SPELL

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164

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171

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172

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READING B Y TOUCH PATRIOTIC DRILL

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FLYING COLOURS

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177

ON T H E LINE

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182

TRANSPOSING MILK AND SUGAR

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185

THE TOPSY TURVY TEA TABLE

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187

UNDER T H E PILLAR BOX

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191

TRICKY TENNIS

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195

AERIAL ANGLING

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HOFFMANN'S BULLET TRICK T H E FEAST OF LANTERNS

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201

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206

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THE JUNIOR FEAST OF LANTERNS

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213

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222

THE HOUSING PROBLEM

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224

T H E RAJAH'S PEARLS

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237

AQUA VITAE

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240

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243

WHAT HAPPENED TO SMITH MINOR

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249

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SQUEEZED TO A JELLY


INTRODUCTION. THE original inspiration to this volume was derived from the purchase of a second-hand cocoanut. The explanation of this astonishing statement is that some years ago a private auction was made among a meeting of magicians of the remnants of the professional equipment of the late Charles Bertram, some few of which came into my possession. Among these was an odd lotâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a very odd lotâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;consisting of two cocoanut shells, one whole and one broken into two portions and tied together with coloured ribbons, and a table knife. It was not an illuminating nor an attractive collection and it hung fire. Hastily conceiving a foggy idea of a possible " Devastated and Restored Cocoanut " I bid a shilling, and the auctioneer joyfully knocked it down to me. At the same function, David Devant secured another quaint lot, consisting of a crudely made tin boat, unpainted, and a thing that looked like a peashooter. Subsequent interchange of inspection of our mutual bargains revealed to Mr. Devant that the " peashooter " was a tubular support to be erected in the centre of the boat, and that my complete cocoanut-shell surmounted it, the whole forming an Indian " Hubble-Bubble," a curious device producing an apparently endless stream of water from the upper receptacle to the lower. He pointed out to me that as my cocoanut


8

INTRODUCTION.

properly belonged to his boat I should hand it over. An idea floated through my mind that as his boat belonged to my cocoanut he should hand over, but with the respect due from a young man to a Master, I gave way. To console me for the loss, Mr. Devant offered to explain the real use of the broken shell and the knife left in my possession. It seems that the course of Bertram's trick was to borrow a handkerchief, exchange it for a dummy, chemically prepared after the manner of "flash paper," which disappeared in a flash of flame when touched with the blade of the knife (previously heated). When it came to recalling the subsequent procedure and how finally the restored handkerchief was found within the broken shell, which had all the time been hanging in view of the audience by its network of fastening ribbons, Mr. Devant's memory failed him and he then remarked that every magician with ideas and methods of his own should leave a a record of them. At a later date my wife appropriated the table knife : she said it was a good knife, that we were short of knives and itwouldsave buying half-a-dozen. The age-lorn segments of cocoanut-shell and its weary ribbons languished for a year or two and then, tidiness overcame sentiment and I relegated them to the garbage bin. That left me with the bare ambition of one day writing a book, as the sole return for the investment of my shilling. Those who are good at figures tell me that a shilling invested and left undisturbed for many years accummulates interest to a surprising extent. I hope it will !

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