Magic Trick: Vanishing apples and beakers


An apple, a metal beaker, some stiff paper, a napkin and a large goblet made of dark blue (or other dark colour, except black) glass are used in this trick.

The performer turns the goblet upside-down and places it on the table; s/he places the apple on top of it. S/he makes a cone of the paper by shaping it around the beaker; this cone is placed over the apple and the napkin is placed over the beaker (which is upside-down), holding it by the fingertips. After proper incantations, the napkin is shaken and whisked aside: the beaker has somehow moved to the top of the goblet, in place of the apple which the performer finds in his/her pocket!

The apple is then placed upon the table and magically thrown towards the paper cone; it disappears and is found under the cone. The performer then realizes that the beaker is missing; s/he searches and grumbles and at last gives up and begins to clear away the apparatus; upon picking up the goblet, the beaker is revealed as being under it!


Both the beaker and the goblet are rigged. The goblet contains a replica of the beaker, painted on its inside in the same colour as the beaker; it also has a slight flange which allows it to rest upon the rim of the goblet (V and C in the diagram). The beaker is in fact double, so that when the paper cone is created the outer beaker can be lifted off and carried under cover of the cone to the base of the goblet (B in the diagram). The table upon which the trick is performed has a catch-box at its rear, big enough to contain the beaker and the apple, which is lined with sound-muffling material.

So the first part of the trick is performed as follows: the goblet is turned over and the apple placed on its (upturned) base. The cone is made, the outer beaker is lifted along with the cone, and both are placed on the base of the goblet, over the apple. The napkin has concealed in it a cardboard disk, just the size of the base of the (inner) beaker, so that when the napkin is held in the air it looks as though the beaker is still there, when in fact it has been moved into the catch-box under cover of the napkin being spread over it. Thus when the napkin is dramatically whipped aside and the cone of paper lifted, everything is in place as described. The apple of course is one that looks as much like the first one as possible and has been in the performer's pocket all along.

The second part is simple. The performer surrounds the apple with both hands, and flicks it into the catch-box with one finger while magically shooting it away. The cone and the concealed beaker are lifted, revealing the apple which has been there all along, and of course when the goblet is picked up the beaker concealed within it is left behind.


The beakers must be of light construction, so as to be lifted and moved easily, but stiff enough not to creak or alter their shape revealingly. Obviously they must all be the same shape and as nearly as possible the same size — certainly the necessary differences must be imperceptible from more than a few inches away. The opening of the beakers must be the same size as the base of the goblet, which must not be transparent. The table should be covered with some smooth material which will muffle sounds but not interfere with the movement of the pieces.

As there are a fair number of movements necessary during this trick, presentation is very important. Perhaps the performer could pretend to be reading from a set of instructions, and bumble around sufficiently to create the necessary indirections.

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