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Topic: Closure of the Cups and Balls Museum
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 24, 2012 11:25AM)
The Cups and Balls Museum is closed. I have disabled all access to the web site, so once you get to the main page, when you try to log in, you will get an error message. This is the result of a series of personal events that have occurred over the past year or so.

I will be selling the contents of the museum over the next few months. I will probably retain a few sets that I have become rather attached to, but at least 75% of the cups will be out of here by the end of the year.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the museum. Many of you have donated cups, many of you have asked questions that caused me to investigate and question the history of the routine as it had been presented by other magicians and collectors.

I've met a lot of friends through the museum.

I'll be putting a list of those who have helped me the most in a few days.

I'll probably put together some packages of types of cups for the people who want various kinds of sets.

Please do me one favor. Please do not send in requests for sets of cups at this time.

I'll post more about this in the future.

Meanwhile, I want to thank all of you who participated in any way to the development of the museum.

For research purposes, I will be reopening the site in a month or two. Right now, the Museum is in stasis.
Message: Posted by: francisngkl (Oct 24, 2012 11:35AM)
Hi Bill,

I still cannot believe this... I wish you all the best, please stay in touch with us in the forum.

Best Regards

Message: Posted by: Jimeh (Oct 24, 2012 11:35AM)
This is VERY sad to hear, Bill. I want to thank you for all that you've done with the museum and being an incredible fountain of knowledge here at the Café. Wish you nothing but the best, sir.

Message: Posted by: Colonel Clark (Oct 24, 2012 11:57AM)
Bill: Sorry to hear that you are closing the C&B museum. Thank you for sharing it over the years. We all wish you well in whatever you decide to do. Kind Magical Regards from Colonel Clark!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 24, 2012 12:31PM)
[b]Sadly, all good things come to an end. Bill will go down in magic's history of the finest, most knowledgeable person "ever" regarding the Cups & Balls.[/b]
Message: Posted by: Bill Wilson (Oct 24, 2012 02:19PM)
Sorry to hear of this Bill. Life does have it's ups and downs but please stay in the loop. Your wisdom would be badly missed.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Oct 24, 2012 02:24PM)

It was great while it lasted... I have so enjoyed the C&BM over the years. Like many, I became interested in Cups because of Bill and appreciate all that he has shared with us.

Bill... thank you so much and I wish you the best in whatever you do.

Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Oct 24, 2012 02:40PM)
Thanks Bill for all your efforts. You've taught me a lot.

Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 24, 2012 02:53PM)
Bill, why not ask Gabe Fajuri to find a collector that would buy the entire collection of the museum (except for the cups you want to keep) and have a rich collector keep the museum running and increasing. I know that Gabe would have potential buyers that may take up the work you have so brilliantly carried out over the years and keep it going.
Dispersing the cups to collectors will possibly lose the history attached to each set where a unique buyer could keep the knowledge available...

Just a thought... (and in any case don't sell short the Buccellati cup that I gave you, it really is worth a small fortune nowadays)

Hope you're well
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Oct 24, 2012 03:01PM)
Bill, you have brought a great deal of knowledge to a great deal of people, through your museum...and many other ways, I am sure. Thank you for all the work you have put in to bring the magic world more knowledge of the cups and balls.
Message: Posted by: wsgumby (Oct 24, 2012 03:10PM)
This makes me sad. I was hoping I could see it. Take care Bill.
Message: Posted by: panlives (Oct 24, 2012 03:47PM)
Message: Posted by: cirrus (Oct 24, 2012 04:12PM)
Ohh :(
no more cups and balls museum...
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Oct 24, 2012 04:22PM)
Good luck with the sell off. If I can help in any way, just call.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Oct 24, 2012 05:43PM)
Bill, I am sad to hear this. I wish this collection could have been put on DVD or in a book, so that it would continue to work for you after it has been sold. As with all wonderful things in magic, it needs to be somehow preserved for history.

Message: Posted by: Magic-Scott (Oct 24, 2012 06:52PM)
Bill, I too am sad to hear about this. Thank you for kindness and for teaching and sharing. I will miss the C&BM. I hope you can find a way to preserve the collection. All my best wishes, -Scott
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Oct 24, 2012 07:01PM)
Wow! What a shocker! Bill is the very centre of gravity of the Cups and Balls magic fraternity, and the museum was, well, THE shrine and an immensely valuable research station for all of us.

Will take a little while for this to sink in.

Bill: all the best to you in all your future endeavors, be they great or small. Above all, I wish you happiness, good health, and long life.

Hope we can stay in touch,

Your friend,

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 24, 2012 07:45PM)
On 2012-10-24 15:53, Lawrence O wrote:
Bill, why not ask Gabe Fajuri to find a collector that would buy the entire collection of the museum (except for the cups you want to keep) and have a rich collector keep the museum running and increasing. I know that Gabe would have potential buyers that may take up the work you have so brilliantly carried out over the years and keep it going.
Dispersing the cups to collectors will possibly lose the history attached to each set where a unique buyer could keep the knowledge available...

Just a thought... (and in any case don't sell short the Buccellati cup that I gave you, it really is worth a small fortune nowadays)

Hope you're well

Hello Etienne--

Not to worry. The Bucellati cup is definitely one of the "keepers"! I know what it's worth. But the value as a gift from a friend is even greater than the "worth" of the cup.

Also, don't worry about me -- I'm doing fine. I have just been put into a position of having to make some tough decisions.

I'll talk to Gabe about this.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 24, 2012 07:47PM)
Just to put everyone's mind at ease -- the museum, itself, will be back on line again soon. I have a lot to do between now and when it reopens. It will continue as a virtual museum, a resource that will exist in cyberspace.
Message: Posted by: cirrus (Oct 24, 2012 08:24PM)
When you put it back online, can I have an account so I can have a look at the cups?
I would love to virtually visit the museum.
Thank you.
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Oct 24, 2012 09:55PM)
Mr. Palmer, sending you warm thoughts through this difficult time in your life. You're in our hearts.
Message: Posted by: Mike McErlain (Oct 24, 2012 11:05PM)
Hi Bill,
This indeed is sad news. No doubt it was a difficult decision.

I have my fingers crossed that Gabe will provide you options that will allow your collection to continue in the hands of a well qualified collector.
I wish you well moving forward. Please stay in touch in the magic community.
Message: Posted by: Tom G (Oct 24, 2012 11:44PM)
Sad to hear, Bill. Many a night of insomnia was spent in the museum wandering the halls.
Best to you Bill. It would be nice to keep the collection together, but would probably fetch
more broken up.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Oct 25, 2012 12:47AM)
Very sad news, but the collection is Bill's and is his to do with as he pleases. So glad I had the opportunity to meet him a few years ago and handle a few of my favorite sets.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 25, 2012 05:23AM)
Under each cup was a packet of Bill's wit and inspiration.

Our hearts and minds are museums as well -- and there will reside these cups forever.
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Oct 25, 2012 07:22AM)
Thank you Mr Palmer for all your effort. The museum was a wonderful wonderful resource, helped me choose my first "good" cup set. I am glad that I got into the CnB when the museum was active.
Message: Posted by: lint (Oct 25, 2012 10:53AM)
Is it April?

Bill, it is quite a shock to hear of the closure. I certainly understand moving on to other things though. I am hardly around here anymore myself. I still have my shelf of traditional cups, most of which you helped me identify or gave me more info on. I keep an eye on the auctions but don't bid anymore. I sent you an email and am sure we will keep in touch.

todd paoletti
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Oct 25, 2012 12:45PM)
I can only echo what has already been said and add my own best wishes for you in the future. Though we've never met, I consider you a friend and fellow.
Message: Posted by: gatto (Oct 25, 2012 01:02PM)
Bill helped me when I submitted a thesis on the 'Cups and Balls' for the London Magic Circle. He even donated cups for the display cabinets in the Devant Room. I have spent many happy hours in the Museum, looking at all the lovely cups.


Colin Whiers
Associate Member Inner Magic Circle, London
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 25, 2012 02:51PM)
I thank all of your for your kind words and thoughts.

The situation is not as dire as one might think.

I'll probably add a few items before I shut this baby down completely.

Meanwhile, the museum will open up again soon.
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Oct 25, 2012 03:36PM)
Hi Bill - I'm very sorry to read this.

The museum is a fantastic resource for all - whether new to the cups & balls and just interested in seeing/comparing cups, or those of us who are obsessively interested. Not only is it an interesting resource, it's an [b]important[/b] one too. There is nowhere else that so much info can be gleaned on all aspects of the cups and balls.

It's been a pleasure watching the museum grow - and seeing pictures of all those wonderful cups that you only usually hear about. It's also been a pleasure talking about cups and tapping your knowledge and getting in touch with like-minded collectors. It's also been great fun. Thank you.

Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Oct 25, 2012 06:46PM)
Thank you, Bill, for the wonderful gift of a look at your museum- and best wishes to you, sir!

Message: Posted by: rannie (Oct 25, 2012 09:28PM)

You have been wonderful to me all these years. I will always remember your warmth and generosity, especially when we finally met in person at the Las Vegas World Magic Sem. Pls keep my wands. That is all I ask. All the best from Manila!

Your friend,

Rannie Raymundo
Message: Posted by: Woland (Oct 26, 2012 05:54AM)
Deeply grateful to Mr. Palmer for his thoughtful advice, excellent posts here, and for the magnificent, unique, and irreplaceable Museum. Onward to better things, however, if so it must be! Thank you, Mr. Palmer!
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 26, 2012 02:56PM)
Bill has helped me immensely! Bill was the most helpful to me when I was in the Homeless Shelter. I had a set of Hindu Cups but no balls to go with them. Bill sent me a perfect set! I was also confused on getting a book for C&B's and he sent me TWO! He never asked for a dime!

I know first hand about "life changing". I feel like The Phoenix! Bill, I can only wish the best for ya! I cannot imagine what caused you to make this decision, but nonetheless, I wish you infinite success!

Message: Posted by: leaycraft (Oct 27, 2012 12:30PM)
All I can do is echo the sentiment of all who know Bill either here or in person. I too await the re-opening of this resource . Bill: I treasure our communications and all that YOU have shared with me and others. As your life re-invents know that a warm welcome is always here for you in NJ. I wish all the best for you in this time of transition. Most of all THANK_YOU! for all you have done and all you will do.

Message: Posted by: Mowee (Oct 27, 2012 03:14PM)
Bill the C&B museum will be missed but understand how life can force changes. Hope everything is well and that you;'ll make it up to Dallas for next year's TAOM. BTW you know the TAOM is working on setting up a magic museum and showplace outside Austin...might want to talk to a few of the guys there about its progress and maybe the C&B Museum could have a physical presence as well since we do know a collector in Austin...
Message: Posted by: Dr_J_Ayala (Oct 27, 2012 07:34PM)
This is definitely some of the most saddening news I have read this year. Both Bill Palmer and his absolutely ASTOUNDING collection (both of knowledge and physical cups/sets) have done more for the magic community than anyone could ever have imagined. I too have spent many a wakeful hour wandering the virtual halls of the museum. Like many others in the magical community (both here on the Café and outside of it), I owe a great debt to Bill for all that he has done, especially where Cups and Balls are concerned.

I look forward to the website being back up in due time and extend all of the best and magical wishes to you, Bill, for all time to come.
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Oct 27, 2012 08:34PM)
Not sure what you need for the museum to stay open, but if free web hosting will help just send me the files and I'll be glad to put them up for you...
Message: Posted by: spatlind (Oct 28, 2012 01:44PM)
A real shock to hear this news. As many others, I spent my share of time perusing the halls of the museum. I hope everything works out well for you Bill, you've created a source of great inspiration for many people, and contributed greatly to all of our collective knowledge. Thanks and good luck!
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Oct 28, 2012 05:04PM)
You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.

Thank you for everything Bill.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 28, 2012 07:00PM)
On 2012-10-28 18:04, Tom Fenton wrote:
You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...

Don't it always seem to go...ARRGH! My voice won't go that high... :eek:

Message: Posted by: Mario Morris (Oct 28, 2012 10:55PM)
Bill, wow moving on is the brave act indeed my hat is off to you sir.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 29, 2012 01:55AM)
The reasons behind this are not financial at all. It's just time for me to do something else, and I need the room.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Oct 29, 2012 04:41AM)
Is it that Moose head you told me about?
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 29, 2012 06:48AM)
If I had been younger, I would have proposed Bill to take over the museum and keep it alive but we need someone that can do this for more years than I could
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Oct 29, 2012 09:56AM)

You are young enough! Go for it!

Elsewise, we need to contact the Magic Castle or some such to see if a group endeavor would be possible. We did this in Ohio with turning one man's lifetime collection of barber paraphernalia into a Barber Museum that gets a good bit of traffic these days and has up and coming young enthusiasts to keep it going...

Count me in on any effort in that direction...

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 29, 2012 02:53PM)
On 2012-10-29 05:41, Tom Fenton wrote:
Is it that Moose head you told me about?

How did you guess?
Message: Posted by: Wizard of Oz (Oct 29, 2012 07:07PM)
No one wears a cup as well as Mr. Palmer. I didn't visit the museum as often as I would have liked, but when I did, I always stayed too long and would be asked by the maintenance staff to leave so they could lock up. Of course the maintenance staff was my wife, begging me to get off the computer so she could use it...but you get the idea.

Hopefully you'll keep a strong presence here on The Café Bill. We need your vim and verve.
Message: Posted by: mysto59 (Oct 29, 2012 09:03PM)
I spent a LOT of time roaming the halls of the museum too and I learned a great deal about the cups and balls from there.

Back in 2008 I bought a set of the Cups and balls museum commemorative cups (set #7) from Mr. Palmer. I put them in my display case along with the great wooden wand and the signed picture of him. It makes for a really nice looking display. The set meant a lot to me when I got it but now since the cups and balls museum is closing it means even more.

Thank you Mr. Palmer for sharing your vast knowledge of the cups and balls and magic in general with us.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Oct 30, 2012 06:18AM)

I remember a certain someone telling me about it in a Café in London last year.
That day will stay with me forever.

You are a true Gentleman and I thank you for everything.
Your friendship, patience, good humour and kindness inspires me each and every day.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 30, 2012 10:01AM)
Ya know...I was thinking ( :rolleyes: yeah, dangerous thing, I know...) maybe The Magic Castle could make Bill an offer for the lot, and set it up at the Castle? This is history, folks! Selling it piece by piece would be a .damned shame! I wonder what the whole lot would cost?

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 30, 2012 11:58AM)
There are a few items in the collection that I would not sell, specifically at the request of the donor. Also there are a few sets that my wife gave me that I would like to keep.
Message: Posted by: JESmagic (Oct 30, 2012 02:41PM)
It is a sad day. There is so much to learn from The Museum collection. So much history, all in one spot.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 31, 2012 11:16AM)
I know, Jonathan! Kind of a panic-y feeling, seeing it possibly disappear! Oh, man. I wish I had $$$!
Message: Posted by: Papasmurf (Oct 31, 2012 09:14PM)
Thanks Bill for all your years of commitment to the magic community through your Cups and Balls Museum.
I sincerely appreciate your knowledge and how you continue to share with all.

All the best to you and may all great things come your way, you deserve it for crying out loud.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 1, 2012 01:52AM)
Thanks for all of your kind thoughts.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 1, 2012 05:19PM)
The museum is back on line.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Nov 1, 2012 09:53PM)
Message: Posted by: wsgumby (Nov 1, 2012 10:06PM)
Nice to see it back online. Will those of us without passwords be able to register one of these days?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2012 01:38AM)
Just send an e-mail to the address on the site.
Message: Posted by: wsgumby (Nov 2, 2012 04:31AM)
Thanks Bill!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2012 02:36PM)
Be sure you put something like "password request" in the subject line. I don't open e-mails without subjects.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Nov 2, 2012 09:05PM)
I spent another couple of hours wandering the museum today. Found several new treasures. Thanks for leaving the door open!
Message: Posted by: dcjames (Nov 3, 2012 03:07PM)
Wow... I have been away from the fold for quite some time now and am shocked to learn of the C&B Museum sale and closing. As others have stated, this wonderful resource is a treasure trove of information and I have learned more from it, and Bill, about the cups than I can accurately express.

Bill, you are a joy and an inspiration. No matter what path you choose to take going forward please know that I wish your continued success in all endeavors.


Message: Posted by: lint (Dec 1, 2012 10:46AM)
So bill, any news?
Message: Posted by: Fiddlermatthew (Dec 1, 2012 01:21PM)
On 2012-12-01 11:46, lint wrote:
So bill, any news?

Yes, I want to know too. I wish so badly I would have been able to get a username/password before Mr. Palmer started shutting things down.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 3, 2012 04:43PM)
Bill, from the fact that you are now focusing on music, maybe you would consider taking a young magician with a computer and a printer and progressively go through the history behind each cups in your museum? Who else but you could really relate the value of sets that are truly historical even when apparently common.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 4, 2012 12:33AM)
Most of that is in the database. There are parts of the database that are visible only to the administrator.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Dec 5, 2012 03:43PM)
thank you Bill
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Dec 12, 2012 03:07AM)
Wait.... what?.... I'm just reading this! I need to stay in more.
Message: Posted by: Moonstone76 (Dec 12, 2012 08:25AM)
Bill thanks for your amazing work....I wish you all the very best.
Matt from Italy.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 6, 2013 11:55PM)
Here is an update on the cups and balls museum situation.

Message: Posted by: MagiChrisMitch (May 31, 2013 12:17PM)

This is off topic, please contact me about some German magic instructions I have. Asking if you might be interesed in helping translate them. Thanks CHRIS jclhills@sbcglobal.net
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 21, 2019 12:55AM)
Just when you thought it was all over, another update.

I'm putting this in here, because when you search for the cups and balls museum on Google, this particular thread comes up. Hopefully, some of the people who think I'm gone will read the last post in the thread.

Those of you who know me well, know that I have been through some interesting times (as the Chinese saying goes!). In 2017, I was informed that I needed to undergo some rather serious surgical procedures. I survived them without much difficulty, and I am now in much better shape than I deserve to be in! However, just as I was undergoing the first and most difficult of them, the museum site was forced offline by a series of strange events. It took me a year and a half to get the basic site on line, but I didn't have the database running.

I put out a call for software experts who could help me unscramble the database. A fellow named Tom Stamm from California volunteered to help me, and in just a couple of weeks, he had recovered most of the database. So I am in the process of adding more cups to the database.

The last set of cups that have been added to the museum are a set of Tommy Wonder "Stage Cups" that were made by the late Auke van Dokkum. They are not in the database yet, but they will be soon.

I'll probably keep about a hundred sets of cups. The rest will go on the block or will be sold to private collectors.

Meanwhile, I thank all of you, my Magic Café and Cups and Balls Museum friends, who have made this whole project worthwhile and, actually, possible.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Aug 21, 2019 10:32AM)
Don't thank us Bill. It is we would should thank you.

So, thank you Bill.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 22, 2019 06:32PM)
You are most welcome!