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Topic: Jack Gwynne
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Apr 13, 2020 09:06AM)
David Charvet has recently shared video from his collection of Jack Gwynne performing his 'Miracle From India' suspension illusion.

Message: Posted by: Russo (Apr 13, 2020 12:25PM)
SUPER X -- it's a simple, but, GREAT Illusion.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Apr 15, 2020 10:44AM)
[quote]On Apr 13, 2020, Russo wrote:
SUPER X -- it's a simple, but, GREAT Illusion. [/quote]

Yeah, well ... but , Gwynne's improvements to the props and the presentation make his way beyond the standard off-the-shelf Super-X. In Gwynne's the supports actually look like they could support the girl lying on the board (unlike the flat cut-out supports supplied with the standard Super-X), and the board is removed so the effect is of the girl's body suspended on the points of the swords , then in mid-air when the swords are removed, rather than a "floating board" that the girl is lying on. His handling of the hoop pass is also very well thought out.
Message: Posted by: Russo (May 15, 2020 08:14AM)
So true - it's the Magician that's makes it - saw an awful one once - a young girl floating her brother. The Magician(?) looked as if she was playing a jazz piano - the floatee was giggling so much the whole illusion(?)was shaking.
Message: Posted by: Merc Man (Jun 23, 2020 06:05PM)
The presentation was a tad 'wooden' and the sound quality naff - but I suppose this was 1961! However, the illusion is still very good.

Didn't Jack Gwynne build some props for Houdini?

I've still got a Jack Gwynne flip-over box that was passed on by my Father. It's of Davenports 1940's heritage and is still in great shape for its' age.
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Sep 28, 2020 02:33PM)
[quote]On Jun 23, 2020, Merc Man wrote:

Didn't Jack Gwynne build some props for Houdini?
. [/quote]

Yes. Also, for Thurston , among others. Gwynne was a skilled craftsman and always built his own props.

I recently watched a recording of a two-part video episode of the Magic Collector's Corner on Facebook with special guest David Charvet (who wrote the book 'Jack Gwynne, The Man, His Mind & His Royal Family of Magic' which, sadly, is out-of-print ) These two segments on Magic Collector's Corner went into a lot of detail about Gwynne's career, with contributions from other members of the Magic Collector's group who had some connection to the Gwynne family. It was very informative. If you're on Facebook, I'd recommend joining the Magic Collector's Corner group. They have a quite a few video recordings that are very interesting.


Watching those two discussions of Gwynne sent me back to the David Charvet book to start re-reading it. Looking at the video and photos I posted above of Gwynne's "Miracle of India" suspension reminded me of Gwynne's version of the Flying Carpet that is discussed in the Charvet book. The Flying carpet as presented by Jack Gwynne had some "Gwynne touches" that are not part of the standard version that was marketed by MAK Magic. Gwynne used TWO support screens under the carpet , having one of the screens being pulled back further and over to the side more as misdirection, instead of only having the single screen as in the Grant version. In the photos of Gwynne that were taken to advertise the U.F. Grant version they only show the one screen pulled back , but when Gwynne performed it he used two screens. One of the advertisements for Grant's version does mention that the instructions come [i]"with the Gywnne Touch - now included in the instructions"[/i] , so perhaps they mentioned Gwynne's use of two screens in those instructions (?), but by the time I purchased a MAK Flying Carpet I don't recall that the instructions mentioned anything about using two screens or any of the other subtle touches that Gwynne used in his version. My first introduction to Gwynne's presentation of the Flying Carpet was through the David Charvet book. After I read that I always used two screens.

These photos were posed by Gwynne for use in the U.F. Grant advertisements, but don't show Gwynne's version with the two support screens -


Message: Posted by: David Todd (Oct 6, 2020 09:43AM)
One more photo of Jack Gwynne performing the Flying Carpet, late 1960's.

Message: Posted by: David Todd (Oct 21, 2020 02:45PM)
Returning to the Miracle of India suspension:

He did not use it in the presentation recorded for Magic Ranch ( https://youtu.be/Ns7n01bwKyA?t=78 ) , but Gwynne usually used two hoops to pass around the floating girl in his full stage presentation. As far as I know there is no film of Gwynne in his prime performing this illusion, the Magic Ranch footage from late in his career is the only film that exists.


One hoop or two , it was a great illusion.