Modern Magicians

NATHU MANCHHACHAND, Indian Magician.

In Nathu Manchhachand we have an Eastern representative of the Mystic "Art, not as practised by the Mahatmas of Thibet, or by the Fakir who is supposed to be able to vanish himself by way of a rope thrown in the air then to cause the rope to disappear in the same direction, or like absurd imaginations—but representative of the art as practised by the magician of the Western World.

Prof. Manchhachand is a native of Mahwva, a town in the Bhawnagar State, where, like all magicians, he was born very young. He was attracted to magic in his infancy as indeed have been the majority whohaveachieved fame in its pursuit. To use his own words (the professor is a successful student of the English language and customs).

" From my infancy I was attracted towards magic. In course of time I became fond of performing magical feats ; and as the bent was natural, help came to me as I went on. When I was about eighteen years old, I could perform before private meetings to the surprise of all and the mystification of not a few. At last I was emboldened to come before the public ; and I succeeded, not indeed beyond my hope, but certainly beyond my expectations. I devoted myself to the profession, and gained a sort of reputation. I have performed my feats before Maharajas, Politicians, and learned men, not only nathu manchhachand.

in India but also in Europe and America."

We have at hand the Professor's elaborate book circular consisting of ten pages nicely printed in English and containing numerous letters of recommendation from Native Princes, British Officers, and notaries in all parts of the World. • We append an example in support of the popularity of the professor.

'' The Palace, Baroda, 14th August, 1897. This is to certify that Professor Nathu Manchhachand again gave a performanceat the Luxmivilas Palace before His Highness the Maharaja Gaikwar, his Sardars and Officers on the occasion of the Prince's birthday 011 the 12th instant. His sleight of hand tricks were this time different from those exhibited before. They were very interesting and of very high order and showed that he had studied carefully and efficiently the methods of our best European artistes. His Highness and the party were well pleased. (Signed) APPASA-HEB, N. Khangi Karbhari."

But why, one would ask, does this Indian magician aspire to emulate the magician of the Western World rather than the ivonderful Indian Fakir about whom we read so much but understand so little. The reason, perhaps, is not far to seek, at any rate it is satisfaction for us to know that the subject of our sketch, although on the spot, knows little and cares less about the performance of the Fakir. He is fond of illusions and is the proud possessor of a valuable collection of the finest and most modern magical apparatus. Magic assigns to him the specific designation of '' The Star of the East.''

Lessons in flf)agi(j by Prof. ELLIS STAN YON,

Author of '' Conjuring for Amateurs,'' '' Conjuring with Cards," " New Coin Tricks," " New Card Tricks," &c.

Continued from page 43.

PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, &c., (Continued).

What magician has not at one time or another suffered untold misery when he discovered his Drawer Box would not hold a third or even a twenty-third part of the presents handed to him at a children's party for a magical production.

I have on several occasions recently, been surprised to find that I was expected to distribute magically, in quantity, more toys, &c., than would go in a good sized travelling trunk, and more in weight than I could carry with any degree of comfort—eh ? Oh no ! ! you cannot remonstrate, you are a magician, you are expected to do wonders to accomplished the impossible, and to acknowledge your inability to do as desired, or to ask tor assistance, would be to be-little your powers.

A great secret, and one that will enable you to overcome any difficulty is prepare yourself against it ; the several suggestions below will, I feel sure, make magical distribution an effective and pleasurable part of your entertainment.

The Drawer Box.—This is one of the oldest pieces of apparatus designed for a magical production, but ■ a box large enough to be of any use for the purpose in question is an expensive item, and worse-its secret is pretty generally known.

Hat Production.—Small toys, sweets, &c., are best produced in connection with a Hat Trick. These may be wrapped in such property articles as flags, sash ribbons, and the like (a combination hat trick is given in " Conjuring for Amateurs," pp. 60-68.)

The Paper Cone.—This forms, perhaps, one of the most effective productions possible. The performer fashions a l~rge conical paper bag from a sheet of stout cartridge paper, and having shown the same to be quite unprepared produces from it, first a quantity of the spring flowers and next a large assortment of presents of quite a substantial nature, and they need not of necessity be in any way collapsible.

The secret in this case depends upon a second bag duly loaded and lightly suspended on the back of a good sized chair. The flowers first produced are caught in a basket placed on the seat of this chair, and when stooping to pick up a few that have fallen to the floor, the performer, in the most natural manner possible, passes the original bag behind the chair, scooping up the one containing the presents for distribution. The rest follows as a matter of course.

The Inexhaustible Box.—This if made a good size will serve the double purpose of a property box and a means whereby a quantity of large and cumbersome presents may be produced magically with satisfaction alike to the performer and his audience.

Objects from Ribbons.—A bundle of unwieldy articles suspended on the back of a chair, may be picked up under cover of, and eventually produced from, the »ribbons extracted from the tambourine or hat.

The Organ Pipes.—The trick of the organ pipes or wizard's supper again forms a very convenient method for the disposal of a quantity of large presents in the way of a magical production.

The above methods will doubtless suggest many more to the reader, but a combination of those given should suffice to place the performer in readiness for all imer-

gencies. -

The Hat for "Miser's Dream."

A correspondent wants to know if we can tell him how to place a borrowed hat, containing twenty florins on the rim, crown downwards, on the table without any fear of the coins falling. We confess we cannot—perhaps some reader can.

We do know, however, that public performers use their own hat, not necessarily prepared, but selected as best suited to the purpose. The lining is removed and a sounding plate inserted that the fall of a coin may be the better distinguished ; to remove the lining only, will in most cases suffice. The hat is planted with, or within reach of, one of the orchestra who is instructed to hand it up at the proper moment ; it is thus made to pass as a borrowed article; it is, of course, finally handed back to the supposed owner. A useful and valuable tip not yet published elsewhere.

The Coin, Wine Glass, and Paper Cone.

By Edward Gledhiee.

In Professor Stanyon's " Conjuring for Amateurs" (page 22) the above-named trick is described as originally introduced, the effect of which is to cause a coin placed under a wine glass, covered with a paper cone, to disappear and return as often as desired.

The writer has seen various modifications of this illusion, but never that devised by himself, which enables the performer to hand round the tumbler, innocent of any preparation whatever, both before and after the trick.

The requisites are a small piece of black velvet, say a couple of feet square, a glass tumbler, and a cardboard disc of the inner diameter of the mouth of the tumbler, covered on both sides with similar velvet to that of the square, and capable of being lifted by the slight pressure on its outer edge exercised by the inner edge or mouth of the tumbler when the latter is inverted over and slightly pressed on the disc, or to be dropped when required by a touch of the finger. The performer commences by handing the piece of velvet for examination, this he then spreads on a table, and whilst doing so, drops on it the disc, which at a distance of two or three feet is quite invisible. He next shows the tumbler and inverts it over the disc. The tumbler has then only to be covered with the paper cone, and lifted 011 to the coin (laid on another part of the cloth) which vanishes and re-appears as desired. Finally, when this part of the trick is finished, it is merely necessary to raise the tumbler a few inches, give the disc a slight tilt with the finger whilst doing so, when it will again drop on the velvet square and become invisible. The disc ' palmed ' the remaining objects are once more handed for inspection.

N.B.—The Editor of this journal has no interests to guard by concealing the secrets of certain tricks, or by describing them in a mis-leading manner ; on the contrary he is in a position to write conscientiously in every detail, and he will continue to do this, without prcdjudice, for the benefit of both Amateur and Professional Magicians.

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