Lesson 28

The subject before us today is Silks.

The silk handkerchief has won its way to a prominent place in Magic. There are several reasons for this—the silk handkerchief makes showy effects; it is easy to handle; and it can be compressed into a small space and then opened to cover a comparatively large space.

The popular size for silks with Magicians is a thirteen-inch square. This is due, perhaps, to the fact that this size cuts nicely from Japanese or Chinese silk, which comes twenty-seven inches wide. Some Magicians prefer, however, to work with larger silks—eighteen inches square, or even twenty-seven inches square for flash effects.

It is easy to make silk handkerchiefs. Buy Japanese or Chinese silk, cut your squares, and hem them around the edges to keep from raveling. Then wash and iron your silks to make them softer and easier to handle. The silks furnished with your course should be so laundered before you use them. Use lukewarm water and a little Lux.

Silks come in so many attractive colors that a Magician can add a colorful flash to his act with them. A European Magician made a hit with a silk effect in which the handkerchiefs had one- to three-inch borders of contrasting color. The light-colored silks had dark borders, and the dark-colored had white or light borders. As a result of this, interesting new effects came into prominence.

Important in silk handkerchief effects is the ability to roll a handkerchief readily into a small ball. The Magician starts with one corner and uses it as a foundation around which to wrap the rest of the handkerchief. To facilitate this, some performers sew a piece of shot or a small button into one corner. Most Magicians, however, find this unnecessary.

Your hands must be kept in good condition for working with silks. They must not be rough or they will catch on the silks. It is well to use Hind's Honey and Almond Cream or any good Benzoin and Almond Cream on the hands just before a performance. These creams give the skin a little stickiness to make it easier to do manipulations. You will find this particularly helpful a little later on when you come to Billiard Ball Manipulation.


This is another effect which has been handed down throughout the magical fraternity for many years. There have been many methods used to accomplish the effect. Some are rather complicated, involving the use of a hollow wooden or celluloid egg

into which the handkerchief was disappeared and apparently transformed into an egg—and using an extra handkerchief and egg. Of recent years, the Bottomless Glass has been brought into use. It has greatly simplified matters as it requires only one egg and one handkerchief and permits of the marking of both.

The method which I teach you here is simplest of all and just as effective. The experiment is performed with an ordinary unprepared glass, a real egg, and a silk handkerchief (or if desired, a lady's borrowed handkerchief). This method makes the experiment suitable not only for the stage, but for impromptu dinner-table Magic as well.


An egg is placed in a glass. Performer then covers glass with a pocket handkerchief and places it on the table. A lady's handkerchief is shown (or a silk handkerchief). This is rolled into the hands and suddenly changes to the egg that was in the glass a moment before. Magician removes the handkerchief covering the glass and reveals, to everyone's surprise, the lady's handkerchief or silk one in the glass.


1--An ordinary glass tumbler. The ideal glass to use is one which is straight up and down. If you cannot secure such a glass, one with just a slight slant from top to bottom will do. The goblet with long stem is good as the bottom is usually about the same size as the top. Because of the use to which the glass is put, the bottom must be nearly the same size as the top. A slight difference, however, is all right.

2--An egg (real or imitation).

Other articles, such as a small potato, part of a roll, etc., may be used.

3--A lady's borrowed handkerchief or one of the silk ones which we include FREE with your paraphernalia.

4--A man's handkerchief--large and opaque. SECRET AND PATTER:

This experiment is of an impromptu nature and requires no preparation. To Perform:

Have glass, egg, and large handkerchief on table. Place table at your left and a little in front of you. If you are using silk handkerchief, have it handy. Otherwise, borrow a handkerchief from lady in the audience.

Pick up the egg and hold it in right finger-tips so that audience can see it.

"Old King Cole was a merry old soul, And a happy old egg was he--."

Pick up glass with left hand and show freely. Place egg inside glass, holding glass at upper edge with thumb and fingertips. Shake glass a little.

"Maybe, that's why he lived in a Crystal Palace. See, the King is at home now."

Pick up large handkerchief and spread it over left hand, taking glass in right hand.

"The next scene is the King under cover."

Show handkerchief with palm of left hand under it turned to audience. Then show right hand with glass and egg. Now bring glass directly in front of you and handkerchief on left hand in front of glass to conceal it from audience. Figure 1 is view towards yourself and away from audience.

When glass is completely screened by handkerchief, turn bottom of it up toward the left until glass is upside down. You will have no difficulty in doing this quickly without dropping egg out. Just move your hand and wrist and keep arm as still as possible so that nothing will be noticed by audience.

Figure 2.

Cover glass with handkerchief from left hand. To the audience it appears that you merely covered the upright glass with the handkerchief. They do not suspect that glass is upside down.

Figure 3.

Grasp glass and handkerchief at the top with left hand. Allow egg to slide down into right palm and hold it in place by curling second, third, and fourth fingers around egg and pushing it against base of thumb. Remove right hand from under handkerchief, back to audience.

Figure 4.

"Now, we'll set the King's palace down by the wayside."

Place glass on table and let handkerchief drape itself down over it. Top of glass (really the bottom) should be allowed to show plainly under the handkerchief.

Pick up the borrowed handkerchief or silk and hold by two corners as shown in illustration. Keep back of right hand well toward audience.

"Pardon me, but did I hear some genial friend say, 'Where's the Queen?' Well "

Allow handkerchief to hang by corner from left hand. Grasp center of it with right fingers and release left hand. Then place left hand around middle of handkerchief as shown in Figure 6.

Remove right hand from handkerchief and point at it with right index finger.

Figure 7.

"There's the Queen."

Turn right side slightly toward audience. Bring right hand up to left and a little in front of it.

Figure 8.

Push egg into palm of left hand against the handkerchief and hold it in place with tips of left fingers.

Figure 9.

Swing hands toward right so that back of left hand is toward audience. Move right hand up to grasp handkerchief at top again as in Figure 6. Study your movements so that they will be done smoothly and without hesitation. It must appear to the audience that you merely reached over with right hand to grasp center of handkerchief sticking up at top.

Pull handkerchief up and clear of left hand, leaving egg behind in palm of left hand.

Figure 10.

"Some Queen."

Raise fingers of right hand to show palm of hand. This is done to show that hand is empty without saying that it is.

Now bring right hand with handkerchief up to left hand. Swing hands to left so that back of right hand is turned to audience, also your right side.

"Now watch the queen."

With aid of finger-tips and thumb of left hand roll the handkerchief into the palm of right hand. Ball handkerchief up tight and push securely into right palm. Then curl second, third, and fourth fingers of right hand around handkerchief.

Figure 13.

Keep back of left hand well to audience so that egg will not be visible.

Figures 11 and 12.

Now bring egg up to tips of left fingers and raise hand away from right hand. Point at left with right index finger. Hold left hand up to show egg with palm of hand to audience. Keep back of right hand to audience so that handkerchief will not be visible.

Figure 13.

Figure 14 shows how handkerchief is held in right hand. This view is towards yourself, back of hand is toward audience.

"No, you are watching the King!"

Show egg freely and place on table.

"Let us step over to the Crystal Palace."

Pick up glass with handkerchief over it from table. Hold it in left hand. Place right hand under glass and push handkerchief up inside.

Figure 15.

Let glass rest on right hand, holding it secure with thumb and fingers. Grasp inner edge of handkerchief towards yourself with left hand.

"We'll remove the cover

Lift up handkerchief so that it falls spread out from left hand and still screens glass, Turn bottom of glass toward the left and let glass come back to upright position. If you hold glass correctly by finger-tips, you will have no difficulty in accomplishing this move quickly and easily so that no movement is apparent to audience,

Figures 17 and 18.

The moment glass comes into upright position, move right hand to the right to show handkerchief in glass, Drop left hand with other handkerchief out of the way,

"And there's the Queen I"

Take glass in left hand. Remove handkerchief from it with right hand. Place glass on table.

If using a borrowed handkerchief, return it. NOTE:

This principle may be applied in substitution of other articles. A small potato placed in the glass can change places with a radish or lime. A spool of thread can change places with a roll of ribbon. A blue handkerchief placed in the glass may be exchanged with a red silk. It is not difficult to get blue silk out of glass under cover of large cotton handkerchief and rapidly compress it into a small ball into palm of right hand. Three fingers hold it in place as in Figure 14. You will find it easy to change it over to other hand also as you did with the egg.

At the dinner table any small objects may be used for this experiment. Use a glass from the table and a napkin for the cover.

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