George Blake

I have received quite a few nice comments upon the "Improved Penetrating Coin" which appeared in this article for the January issue. These comments are very acceptable for they tend to show that these little discourses upon the uses of conjurer's wax have been justified. I sincerely trust that the reader who made the original request has felt it well worth while and that other readers, even the better informed, will at least pick up one valuable hint.

I do think that the method of fastening a blob of wax to the end of a thread, as given in the January issue is worthy of your attention, and even if, at the moment, you have no use for such an aid. do go back to that issue, read the method again, and store it at the back of your cranium. You

WILL need it one day and you'll be glad you remembered it.

Did you try out "Phantasma"? from the February issue? It is really all that Alan Dixon claims for it. and if you have any further ideas on its uses, we shall be glad to hear from you.

I am just afraid that this month's "Wangles With Wax" may prove a little disappointing to some readers, for to them it may be 'Old Stuff'. Come to think of it however, I cannot but notice that some hoary old jokes still get hearty laughs, simply because they are NEW TO SOMEONE, and comforting myself with the thought that we have new and young conjurors amongst our readers and that some of these uses of wax may be new to them, I take heart in presenting:—

" More Wangles with Wax "

THE VANISHING COIN.—My first meeting with this effect was in Hoffmann's Modern Magic, but I believe it is much older than that. So old, I contend, as to be new again, at least to modern audiences. The conjurer spreads a handkerchief upon the table and in the centre he places a small coin. The four corners of the hankerchief are in turn folded into the centre, so that they just cover the coin. The conjurer suddenly whisks up the handkerchief and the coin has gone.

The miracle is brought about by the use of a small piece of wax, as you may have guessed. Hoffmann advised that the small portion of wax be smeered upon the coin, but as this has to be placed on the handkerchief with the waxed side upwards, and as the wax may be visible to keen spectators, I prefer to deviate slightly, and to have the small blob of wax on the corner of the handkerchief. Half an inch in from the two meeting edges will be found to be about right.

Borrow a coin, or use your own, and place it on the table, well forward. Draw the handkerchief from the pocket, having previously placed it so that you take told, with the right hand, of the waxed corner first. The right fingers conceal any mark the wax may make, as the kerchief is shown on both sides.

Now spread it upon the table, between yourself and the coin, the edge of the hanky nearest yourself being parallel with the rear edge of the table, in the form of a square. Reach over with the left hand to take up the coin, seeing to it that the right hand never leaves its corner, and thus the wax remains concealed. Place the coin in the centre of the handkerchief, and immediately, with the left hand (right hand remains where it is) take up the top left hand corner, draw it to the centre and just cover the coin.

The right hand now takes turn in bringing up its corner and placing it over the one just brought in by the left hand. Now the left hand, in turn, takes the lower left corner in to the centre, and lastly the right hand brings down the top right corner. All the corners are laid down lightly. So far, the coin is not in contact with the waxed corner, but there is purpose behind this manoeuvre, designed to throw off any knowing ones.

At this stage, the handkerchief has assumed the shape, as YOU see it, of a diamond, instead of a square. To 'tidy' matters up a little you commence to pat down the folds you have made at the extreme edges of the diamond, and in so doing you contrive (?) to pull the top left hand corner out just a teeny bit ! Sufficient to allow the wax corner to drop on the coin, and you make amends by again picking up this top left corner and bringing it to the centre, BUT THIS TIME IT GOES ON TOP OF THE OTHER THREE.

Place the corner there deliberately, as though to make sure that it doesn't slip again, but the pressure you use will ensure that the waxed corner adheres to the coin. After due time, place both hands into the loop formed at the corner of the diamond nearest yourself, and prepare to pull the hanky open. As you do so, the hands run along the original lower edge of the handkerchief, and travel along to the corners. The right comes in contact with the coin, covers it and the hanky is lifted from the table, and shown back and front.

The hanky may now be stowed away in the pocket, together with the coin, and a duplicate coin produced later on, or, in placing the kerchief in the pocket the right fingers may 'peel' the coin from the corner, ready to be produced elsewhere.

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