The Rosette

This is a pretty and impressive extension of the roll-down display, a standard coin manipulation similar in visual effect to the preceding card flourish. When the roll-down is normally done, a stack of four coins, held on edge between the thumb and forefinger, are rolled by the fingers until one is held between each pair of digits. Mr. Elmsley has added a fifth coin to the display, which he catches between the thumb and fourth finger, completing a circle of coins (Figure 20). This manipulation is not an easy one, even for those who have mastered the standard roll-down. But it is so fascinating to watch, many will invest the effort necessary to attain it.

The positioning of the first four coins is done without variation from the original flourish. However, since there are several systems for rolling the coins down the fingers, let me describe the one Mr. Elmsley uses, which is the simplest of the lot.

Begin with the stack of five coins—half-dollar or silver-dollar size is best for most hands—positioned between the thumb and forefinger. The coins are gripped by their opposite edges and are held broadside to the audience, as shown in Figure 21. (The illustrations are posed with the right hand, but either hand may be used.)

The second finger bends upward until it touches the side of the thumb (Figure 22). The back of the second finger contacts the rim of

the innermost coin of the stack—the coin nearest the palm—and rolls the coin on edge until it is caught between the sides of the first and second fingertips (Figure 23).

The third finger bends up to the forefinger (Figure 24), catches the rim of the single coin and rolls it down until it sits between the second and third fingers (Figure 25). The fourth finger bends up to the second finger (Figure 26) and rolls the coin down between itself and the third finger (Figure 27). The action is much like that used to roll billiard balls between the fingers, but is somewhat complicated by the disk-shape of the coins.

The second finger now bends up to the thumb and rolls the second coin of the stack down between the first and second fingers. The third finger, without releasing its pressure on the rim of the first coin, moves beside the first finger (Figure 28) and rolls the second coin down to a position between the second and third fingers (Figure 29).

The second finger once more bends up to the thumb, without losing contact with the rim of the second coin, and rolls out the third coin from the near side of the stack, wheeling it between the first and second fingers (Figure 30). The standard roll-down flourish ends at this point. But Mr. Elmsley now rolls the fifth coin of the stack between his fourth finger and thumb as follows:

The fourth finger moves up beside the first finger and under the pair of coins still between the first finger and thumb. To do this the three coins between the other fingers must partially eclipse each other. This will happen automatically as the fourth finger moves upward (Figure 31). The fourth finger contacts the lower edge of the innermost coin of the pair and rolls it outward, in a direction opposite to that the other coins have been rolled, until the coin is caught between the thumb and fourth finger. This completes the rosette, as was shown in Figure 20 (page 19).

Here are two tips that will aid in learning the flourish: First, when initially positioning the stack of five coins between the forefinger and thumb, set it in far enough from the fingertips to assure that the coin destined to be held between the first and second fingers (the central coin of the stack) does not roll on the nail of the first finger, where it can slip. Second, take care to position this coin particularly straight between the first and second fingers, so that it does not snap flat and drop during the rolling out of the last coin.

Mr. Elmsley's rosette can likely be adapted to other styles of the roll-down. A somewhat advanced fingering system can be found on pages 139-140 ofThe Tarbell Course in Magic, Volume 3; and Arthur Buckley's excellent flash roll-out method is described in both his own book, Principies and Deceptions (pp. 66-67) and in Bobo's New Modern Coin Magic (pp. 204-205). Mr. Elmsley notes that he originally used the Buckley method when performing the four-coin roll-out, but when he began

experimenting with the rosette, he found the positioning of thp coins between the fingers, created by Buckley's handling, caused him to drop coins as he maneuvered the last one between the thumb and fourth finger. However, he suggests that experimentation with different sized coins, and with different fingers than his own, might make the Buckley technique practical for some when performing the rosette.

March 1952

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