The Oriental Rope Release

This fine magical effect comes from Ottokar Fischer of Vienna. It gives us the release of various objects from a pair of ropes in an easy, mystifying manner without preliminary preparation of the ropes. It possesses that something that makes it an oriental presentation as well as occidental. Its impromptu method of working, even while the performer is surrounded by an audience, is readily appreciated by the modern day magician. It has been a favorite in the repertoires of Okito (Theo. Bamberg) and Fu Manchu (David Bamberg).


Two pieces of clothesline are freely shown and held apart, one in each hand. A Japanese fan is firmly tied with a knot in the center of the ropes. One spectator is given two ends of the ropes to hold, and another spectator is allowed to hold the remaining two ends. A silk handkerchief is tied around the ropes at the left of the fan, and another silk handkerchief is tied around the ropes at the right of the fan. The handkerchiefs are pushed up next to fan and a knot tied in the cord above them. Performer tells assistants to hold the respective ends of the ropes tightly. Grasping the lower corners of the two silks in his left hand and the fan in his right he pulls them all clear of the ropes. The ropes remain stretched out between the two assistants straight without knots. The knots in the silk handkerchiefs still remain tied.


1—Two pieces of white, soft clothesline, each about six feet long.

2—A Japanese fan about twelve inches long.

3—Two silk handkerchiefs, preferably 16 to 18 inches square. It gives a better effect if the silks are of different colors, for instance: one a bright red and the other a bright green.


Have two spectators come up from the audience to assist you. Have one stand at your left and the other at your right. Give the fan to assistant at right, first opening it for a flourish, and then closing it.

Hold up the two ropes, one in each hand (Fig. 1). This move shows them to be just two pieces of rope.

Bring the two ropes together again and place over the fan which assistant is holding (Fig. 2). Stand behind fan so that

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audience can see your movements step by step. Take the rope BB in left hand and the rope AA in right hand and tie a single knot (Fig. 3). This is the important basic move of the experiment. Be careful not to get ropes twisted.

Grasp the ropes, two in each hand (Fig. 4), giving the two at left to assistant at left and the two at right to assistant on right side (Fig. 5).

Tie a silk handkerchief around the ropes at left side of the fan (Fig. 6), and the other silk at the right of fan. If desired, the knots can be made nearer the center of the handkerchiefs.

Push the handkerchiefs close to fan.

Take one rope from the left and one from the right and tie a single knot above the fan and silks (Fig. 7). It makes no

difference as to which ropes are taken from each side, the big idea being to get the ropes over onto the opposite sides so that the ropes will be stretched out from assistant to assistant at the finish.

You are now ready for the finish of the experiment. Grasp the lower corners of the silk handkerchiefs with the left hand and the fan with the right hand (Fig. 8). Pull the fan clear from the ropes and then the silks.

The result is that you hold the fan and silks released from the ropes (Fig. 9), the ropes being outstretched between the two assistants free from knots. The silks retain their knots.

Be sure to have each assistant hold one end of rope in each hand, and to hold as tight as possible so that ropes will not be jerked from hands at the psychological moment of releasing the fan and silks.


Rings, metal or wooden, may be substituted for the handkerchiefs (Fig. 10).

Or rings may be added after the handkerchiefs have been tied on, allowing the rings to fall on the floor at the finish of the effect.

For impromptu work, various articles can be used as the principle permits of many variations.

FOR AFTER DINNER WORK, wrapping cord, string, ribbon or tape could be readily substituted for the rope. A table knife could be tied in the center and a table napkin or handkerchief tied on each side. A couple of napkin rings could be added for good luck.

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