Salute To John Ramsay


AT THE recent I.B.M. Convention at South-port, Jack Avis, Roy Walton and myself had the privilege of seeing John Ramsay perform many of his close-up classics at a session in his room early one morning. As we sat there " Johnny," in his slow and deliberate manner, fooled heck out of us with his cups and balls, rope routine, coins in the hat (with a new twist that caught us right off our guard), and his copper and silver transposition and many others. Needless to say it was a wonderful experience and our own personal highlight of a grand convention.



After the convention, it was his routine of copper and silver that set me thinking along similar lines and after pushing the idea around in my head for some time and playing late at night with a handful of coins, I eventually worked out the following routine. Some of you who have seen " Johnny's " routine will recognise in mine similar characteristics, but do not think for one moment that I have tried to emulate his routine; this is just my own handling of a close-up classic, the copper and silver transposition, and in presenting it to you here I salute the man who in my opinion richly deserves the title " Mr. Close-up Magic'"—John Ramsay, from whom came the inspiration which led me to this effect.

The magician removes from his pockets a


copper and silver coin which are held at the fingertips. He asks the spectator " If I could make this copper coin change places with this silver coin, would that be a good trick." The spectator answers that it would and with a wry grin the magician merely exchanges the two coins quite openly, so that they are in opposite hands. Remarking that perhaps it was a little too easy he offers to do the effect differently. The silver coin is placed between the teeth and the copper coin is tossed into the left hand. The silver coin is removed from the teeth and held in full view at the fingertips of the right hand and the spectator is asked to keep his eye on the silver coin. Slowly it slides out of sight behind the fingers only to slide into view from behind the fingers of the left hand! The magician then looks back at his right hand and slowly the copper coin slides up from behind the fingers. He then shows both sides of each coin and as he throws them onto the table both his hands are seen to be empty. No tricky or quick moves and everything is done in a slow and deliberate manner a la John Ramsay. Interested? Well read on.

You require for this effect a nesting florin and penny set. This is comprised of a shell penny and a florin with a penny on the reverse side. The florin just fits into the shell penny so that the


back of the florin, the penny side, fills in the open side of the shell penny, and when the set is locked it can be handled quite freely as a single coin. It is with this that you achieve the above effect and the handling is as follows.

In the right trousers pocket you have the shell penny and a genuine florin. In the left trousers pocket you have the fake florin. Casually reach into each pocket with your hands and remove the copper shell and the fake florin, finger palming the genuine florin in the right hand. The left hand coin is held with the silver side towards the audience and the right hand coin with the open side towards the performer, both coins being held at the fingertips and at approximately eye-level. Ask the spectator if it would be a good trick if you could make the copper coin change places with the silver coin and he will answer in the affirmative. You then merely change one coin for the other. Copper coin is now held at the left fingertips and the silver coin at the right fingertips whilst the genuine florin is still in the finger palm.

Say that you will do the trick a little differently. With the right fingers place the fake silver coin between the teeth with the silver side facing the audience and then allow the copper shell in the left hand to fall onto the outstretched palm of that hand. Pick up the coin with the first finger and thumb of the right hand, show it to the spectator and then toss it into the left hand closing tlie fingers over the coin as it hits the palm. In doing this you have switched the copper shell for the genuine florin that was held in the finger palm. Genuine silver coin is now held in the left fist whilst the shell copper coin is held behind the fingers of the right hand. You may have your own favourite switch which you will use; my own choice is the Bobo switch described on page 10 of Bobo's " Modern Coin Magic" and I have found this ideal for this effect. The copper coin in the right hand is gripped between the first and little finger with the other fingers covering the coin and the open side of the shell towards the performer. You now remove the silver coin from your teeth with the right hand with the four fingers on top of the coin and the thumb below, so that the palmed copper shell just overlaps the silver coin. Hold the silver coin at the fingertips at eye-level with the thumb behind the coin and the copper shell gripped between the silver coin and the fingers. The left hand is held in the same position but the genuine silver coin is not visible; it merely rests on edge on the palm.

Relaxing the pressure on the right thumb allow the fake silver coin to slowly slide down behind the fingers until it drops into place in the copper shell. Press the fake coin home with the right thumb and then look at your left hand as you slide the genuine florin into view with the left thumb. Hold it at the fingertips then look back at your right hand as you slide the copper shell into view (which now has the fake florin safely nested in the back) and you are now able to twist the coins at your fingertips so that both sides can be seen.





The hands are dropped to table level as you toss both coins onto the table, making sure they do not hit each other as the unnatural ring would give the game away. Both your hands are empty and there is nothing that will explain your miracle. You have done it again!

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