CL Mattex of Seme QxavUy

Anti-Gravity effects always intrigue me. Some times they touch real magic as witness the uncovered levitation, Maskelyne, Aga, Kellar call it what you will. One lovely little miracle in this class is the adhesion of cards to the hand. Those who have by them a copy of Roterberg's New Era Card Tricks w'.ll find within its pages an early method of achieving this effect. We know one performer in the Midlands who makes a miracle of this almost parlour trick, in fact he presents it so well that the first time we saw his presentation we were almost foxed. In almost every version of the effect a faked key card is necessary, one of the most effective being the one described bv Burling Hull in Sealed Mysteries. The effect has, however, been much neglected and the only comparatively modern versions are Herbert Milton's " Personal Magnetism " in Volume Eight of Naldrett's Collected Series, and Edward Victor's " Magnetised Cards " in More Magic of the Hands. Regarding the latter, my old friend the late Edward Brown had an excellent unfaked card method which has not been published.

The merit of the effect to be described lies more in the presentation than the method. It was designed for my daughter, this being something that gave me the advantage of seeing it performed rather than performing it myself and visualising its effect from within.

The Effect. Taking a pack of cards, the conjurer deals some sixteen or seventeen haphazardly on to a tray or table. Showing both his hands to be empty and placing them palms to the audience side by side and thumb to thumb he gently lowers them on to the backs of the cards. A slight pause and then both hands come up together with the whole stack of cards adhering to them. When they reach the point where the faces are parallel to the audience the performer pauses for a second or two and then the two hands separate and move left and right respectively, half of the cards adhering to each hand. The left hand is turned palm upwards whilst the right is first turned palm down and then back to the original position. The cards in the right hand are now allowed to drop one at a time on to the performer's table. Attention is then called to the left hand. It is shown that the cards adhere whilst the hand is held in any position. Finally it is brought so that the cards face the audience and taking one card at a time from the adhering mass each is scaled on to the performer's table until finally one card is left. This is taken and after being flicked with a snap of the fingers is dropped on to the table.

The Preparation. Two faked cards are necessary and these are made in a similar manner to the one described by Herbert Milton in the effect to which we previously referred, i.e., each card has affixed to its back a small black pin bent at right angles. The arrangement is such that the pin can be raised or lie flush with the card. In Herbert's version the card was backed with material similar to that used on the top of the performer's table. A similar procedure may be adopted here, but as it is necessary in using two cards that these cards shall not be disturbed I found it better to make up a simple tray in which two recessed parts of the surface held the required faked cards (see illustration).

The whole of the tray and cards were then covered with the same material, (a thin velour cloth was used), and without any line masking the position of the cards it was completely camouflaged. The reader should note the angle at which the cards are positioned. (To those readers who have a bent for craftsmanship in a general sense many different schemes of colouring or covering will suggest themselves.) Prior to presentation the cards are placed face down in the recesses with the pins flush with the surface. With a pack of cards at hand the performer is ready for the :

Presentation. The conjurer takes the pack of cards mentioning at the same time that he wishes to show how easily a magician can overcome the laws of gravity. " For this," he says, " I will use one, two, three, four," and so on until he has counted, apparently haphazardly sixteen cards on to the tray. Actually the method of placing the cards down is important. In the first place such placing must be done with firmness. In consequence as the performer says " One," he deals the first card on to the tray so that it lies left of the left hand card's pin, the next card goes to the right of this pin, the third to the left of the right hand card's pin and the fourth to the right of the same pin (see illustration).

The next four cards are dealt again from left to right, but this time each is laid in a diagonal position (see illustration), and in such a manner
that cards 2 and 4 slip under the bent pin and raise it into a vertical position. The third group of four cards are dealt in a diagonal manner (see illustration) whilst the last four (this number

could be increased so that the total comes up to seventeen, eighteen or nineteen) in a truly haphazard manner, the only qualification being that they should be equally distributed. With the cards spread on, the tray the performer is all set. His two hands are raised to shoulder height and carefully shown back and front. With palms to the audience and the tip of each thumb touching the other, the hands are carefully lowered on to the cards. The pins are now engaged between the tips of the first and second fingers of each hand, and at the same time the rest of the hands press down on to the backs of the cards. There is a slight pause and then both hands are raised together, the cards clinging to them. (Without making up the effect in its entirety just attach two bent pins to a couple of cards and try this out in front of a mirror. You will appreciate the effect). They are held for a moment facing the audience and then the hands separate. (If the cards have been laid out as directed there is >10 possibility of any cards falling as the ha>ids move away from each other). The conjurer's g"aze follows the movement of the left hand and when each arm is almost fully extended, the left hand turns palm upwards, the cards apparently resting on it. The conjurer then turns his head to the right. The right hand then shows that the cards cling in any position. Whilst he is showing this the performer must so position himself that at the conclusion of this demonstration the right hand is directly above the table he is using. The cards are held with their faces to the audience once more and by slightly releasing the hand pressure the cards are allowed to drop. Practice will prove that they can be released one at a time. This will leave the faked card still gripped by the first and second fingers. This card is dealt with in the following manner: the right hand thumb comes across and presses on its face whilst at the same time the two fingers gripping the pin release their grip, the first finger then folding back the pin into a flush position. The card is then dropped face upward on to the table. The whole affair is seemingly unsuspicious and takes a fraction of a second to accomplish.

The performer steps forward so that he is now slightly in front of and to the right of his table. He shows that the cards in the left hand will adhere whilst the hand is in any position. Then, with the cards facing the audience he removes with his right hand a card at a time from the mass adhering to the left. They are scaled face up on to the table. This is done until only two cards are left ; they are the pin card and one other. The pin card is then taken and the left hand thumb comes across slightly, holding the unfaked card in position. The right hand, as it takes the faked card, knocks the pin flush and in a similar manner that the other cards were scaled sends it face upward on to the table. The right hand now approaches the left, takes the unfaked card, gives it a flick with the first finger of the left hand, shows it back and front and drops it on to the table.

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