Magic Trick: How to Cause Large-sized Objects to Appear to Vanish from the Hands

By large objects are meant eggs, oranges, ladies' handkerchiefs, gloves, small birds, &c. The sleight-of-hand conjuror should embrace every opportunity for a display of his skill, handkerchiefs being swallowed and reproduced elsewhere, and other articles thrown away or made to pass imperceptibly from out of the hand into thin air, nothing being left of them when the hand is opened. In order to bring about these things, all that the conjuror has to do is to adapt, to the altered circumstance of having larger articles to deal with, what he has been taught in connection with the palming and passing of coins. Take, first, the apparent placing of an article in the mouth, and swallowing it. The method adopted will vary, according to the size of the article. If it be a comparatively small one, such as a walnut, then the action depicted at Fig. 7 must be followed, the article being palmed in the right hand, the back of which must necessarily be turned towards the audience more than is shown in the sketch, by reason of the more bulky nature of its contents, and the fingers of the left hand rounded in a way suggestive of containing the article supposed to be put into them. The right hand then takes the wand, which, in these cases, must always be carried under the right armpit. Should the article not be swallowed, the wand strikes the closed fingers of the left hand, which are simultaneously opened and shown to be empty. The success attending this method will depend solely and entirely upon the neatness with which the palm is executed, and the article apparently placed in the left hand. It must not be ostensibly thrown there, as is the case with a coin, but deliberately put in, the fingers of the right hand, after the execution of the palm, forming as though they actually held the article, those of the left hand closing around them, as if taking it firmly in charge. It is always as well to actually place the article in the left hand at least once, thereby silently impressing the company with what is to be done with it. The palming of a walnut is quite as easy as that of a coin, and the pass must be regarded as a very simple one to learn.

Eggs, oranges, lemons, and solid articles of that size, must be treated according to the action shown at Figs. 8 and 9, facility in executing which will render the accomplishment of what is now described very easy. As the article is not a coin, it must not be held between finger and thumb, but made to rest upon the very tips of the fingers of the left hand, which is held perpendicularly for the purpose. It is thus very conspicuously in sight of everyone. It is allowed to rest there for a few seconds, when the right hand is rought suddenly in front of it, and the action gone through of taking it. At this instant, the orange (say) falls into the hollow of the left hand, which is immediately dropped to grasp the coat flap, whilst the right hand apparently puts the orange into the mouth, a muffled noise being made indicative of the mouth being full. Before the hand is removed, the mouth is closed, when it is as well to bulge one of the cheeks out with the tongue, and then make three or four desperate attempts (ultimately successful) at swallowing, accompanied by choking sounds. A smile should then illumine the face of the performer, who appears to have enjoyed the operation, and the orange, if it is wanted again, may be produced at the right elbow, or brought round from the back of the neck, rolled along by the tips of the fingers. A very effective sleight with which to quickly follow the foregoing is as follows: Place the wand under the left armpit, and hold the orange in the fingers of the left hand, as above described. Open the legs slightly, and then apparently take the orange in the right hand and smash it into the right leg, just above the knee. The orange must be apparently vigorously snatched out of the left hand, which at once mechanically finds its way to the wand, that article being grasped by the thumb only, the fingers and palm concealing the orange. The performer allows a second to elapse, and then, briskly taking the wand in the right hand, rolls the orange from behind his left thigh to the front. It does not in the least signify what the company fancy actually happened with the orange, so long as they are not allowed to suspect that it never left the left hand. Obliged to account for the phenomenon, the theories formed will be various, the majority polling for a tubular communication between sleeve and sleeve, viâ the performer's back. As the orange is apparently smashed into the leg, the performer will find it necessary to stoop slightly. This sleight should follow the preceding one before the spectators have begun to recover from their wonderment at seeing the orange apparently swallowed and then reproduced. A cigar, or article of the like shape, can be similarly treated if it be held in the left hand between the tips of the middle finger and thumb, the broad end being against the thumb. As the right hand covers it, in the act of apparently taking it, the broad end is allowed to fall against the root of the thumb, and the hand turned slightly over and then allowed to hang down at the side. A very little pressure on the part of the middle finger will suffice to keep the cigar in position. The right hand must conform itself as closely as possible to the shape it would assume if it actually contained a cigar. This sleight will come in handy in conjuring at table.

A more complete method of vanishing is as follows: Take the article in the right hand, and hold the waistband of the vest by the left. Toss the orange, &c., twice or thrice in the air, and then whip it swiftly beneath the vest, which will be partly raised by the left hand. The two hands thus brought together should be closed one over the other, as if they contained something, which something you will then proceed to gradually rub away. As you have nothing whatever in the hands, you will be able to execute this portion of the deception with great confidence and ease. When you slip any article beneath the vest, the body should be partially turned from the audience. Quickly done, the movement will never be noticed, and it is one of the most perfect deceptions practised. The vest is never thought of by an audience as being a place for the concealment of articles, and so it escapes notice, and everyone wonders where the vanished article can have gone to. The vest is also an excellent place in which to carry such things as eggs, lemons, &c., which may be required during any trick.

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