Magic Trick: To Vanish a Plate

This is considerably more ambitious than the preceding, and requires some confidence in one's powers. There are two methods, each differing only slightly from the other. In the one, the plate, which should be small, is taken in the hand, and apparently thrown up to the ceiling, but, instead, adroitly grasped by one leg, purposely extended, behind the knee, between the calf and the thigh. In the other method, the performer rises slightly from his seat, as if to make an extra vigorous throw, and the plate is slipped beneath him. Both methods are good; but it is essential to the success of either that the performer sits on the extreme outside of everyone else. Under any other circumstances, the requisite freedom of action cannot be obtained. So soon as the plate has disappeared, the conjuror should seize a napkin, wave it about, and find the plate in it. It must be distinctly understood that the leg which is to hold the plate during its concealment must be first brought round to the side of the chair on which the performer is sitting, and there doubled up slightly, so that there is just room to pass the plate between the calf and the thigh, which will then hold it tight. The learner must not expect to execute this vanish at the first attempt, but will require to practise considerably before arriving at anything like perfection of execution.

A primitive method for vanishing a plate is to place the left hand slightly behind the body, and with it receive the plate from the right hand. In this method, which can only be used when the performer is standing, the plate must immediately be found in someone's coat. Books, straw mats, knives, and other large articles can be made to disappear by any of the foregoing methods.

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