Dr

THE BIG SQUEEZE

JOHN DERRIS

THE CLASSIC effect of passing a coin through a finger ring whilst wrapped in a handkerchief has, through the years, brought forth scores of ingenious methods from students and professionals of magic. The effect is bold, easy to follow and ideal for working under most conditions, and can truly be called one of the classics of close-up magic.

The method 1 am about to describe is, I believe, the only presentation where the spectator sees the unfaked coin actually pass through a borrowed finger ring without any covering whatsoever. If this trick were to be sold on the market the description would be a dealer's delight, for his advertisements would read—" Remember, an unfaked coin actually passes through a borrowed finger ring without cover of any kind — impossible!"

First, a brief outline of the full effect. A silver and copper coin are shown and placed into the centre of a handkerchief. A finger ring, which can be borrowed, is slipped over the four ends of the handkerchief and pushed up to the coins. The handkerchief is turned over, and the four corners are held by two spectators so that the coins can be seen through the small hole where the handkerchief passes through the ring. The magician points out that only one of the coins can be seen and that he will turn them around through the handkerchief so that the other coin is visible. This is done and the spectators look through the hole and confirm that they can see the other coin. One of the coins is now selected and without any covering the magician pulls the sides of the handkerchief and the coin literally jumps through the ring on to the handkerchief. It can be immediately picked up by a spectator and checked as being genuine. The handkerchief is turned over and the spectator feels that there is only one coin left inside the handkerchief. The ring is removed and returned to its owner and the handkerchief is folded back to reveal the other coin which is tossed on to the table . . . and everything is clean.

No doubt you are interested, so I will proceed to the handling of the routine with no further delay. The requisites for performing this effect are a silver and copper nesting set of coins, a duplicate coin, a ringer ring, a matchbox and a small rubber band. For readers not familiar with a nesting set of coins, let me explain. It is generally composed of a shell penny and a two shilling piece wilh a cut down penny on the reverse side. If the shell penny and the florin are pressed together they fit snugly one inside the other, the penny back of the florin completing the reverse side of the shell penny. Front this you can see that by nesting the two coins together one of them is made to vanish completely. An expensive but very useful piece of apparatus.

You prepare for the routine as follows. The penny and florin parts of the nesting set are on the table with the handkerchief and the borrowed finger ring. The small rubber band is slipped around the outer shell of the matchbox, the inner tray being discarded, so that it is about half-an-inch from the end, and this is placed in the left trousers pocket. You are now ready to begin.

With a duplicate florin finger palmed in the right hand you take a pocket handkerchief and throw it over your left palm. The fake florin is picked up from the table with the right hand and transferred to the left hand where it is held between finger and thumber through the material. (Figure 1.)

Next, the penny is picked up and transferred to the left hand and situated directly over the florin'. The whole hand is now turned over so that

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