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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Labyrinth 1616: A Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century (20 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Scott Douglas
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A month or so ago I shared my progress on a passion project I have been working on for the last two years. I wanted to bring an old piece of magic back into the light, specifically an early book test from the 17th century. I think I am finally ready to show it off and push it out into the world.

Image

A 17th-century Venetian nobleman by the name of Andrea Ghisi developed several recreational books that allowed someone to divine, from three questions, the exact figure thought of within a book full of illustrations. Labyrinth 1616 is my reimagining of Andrea Ghisi's 1616 version of Labyrinth, or Laberinto, published by Evangelista Deuchino in Venice. The bulk of the book consists of 42 pages of illustrated figures, seemingly arranged at random. The remaining pages of the book are devoted to a title page and a two-page dedication to Giovanni Bembo, the Doge of Venice at that time.

I have written a 16-page instruction booklet, edited by the spectacular David Parr, describing the history, contents, and method in detail.

Image

If you're interested, you can head over to http://darkfoundry.com for more information and more pictures.
Dark Foundry | Magic Creations
www.darkfoundry.com

Labyrinth 1616 | Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century
http://www.darkfoundry.com/labyrinth/
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Just ordered mine! I've been waiting for this project to come to fruition since you first announced you had begun working on it. Bravo! I can't wait to show it off to my friends.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Scott Douglas
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Thanks Philemon!

I have everything ready to go and will be dropping your package off at the post office tomorrow.
Dark Foundry | Magic Creations
www.darkfoundry.com

Labyrinth 1616 | Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century
http://www.darkfoundry.com/labyrinth/
David Parr
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It's very lovely and I'm happy to have been involved in such a cool project! I'd like to point out: this book is different from the one released by the Conjuring Arts Center, which was based on a book published a year after Laberinto. And Scott has really put an amazing amount of effort into all the details. Even the box is pretty!
Scott Douglas
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Yes, there were several of these books made over the years, and all of them were designed differently and with different illustrations.

The first 'Labyrinth' style book was created in 1607 by Andrea Ghisi.
An English translation of the 1607 version was published in 1610 in London by Thomas Purfoot.
Another version was created in 1616, again by Andrea Ghisi. This is the version I used for this project.
Finally, Horatio Galasso created a version in 1617 which the Conjuring Arts Research Center made a facsimile of. Pretty sure they have the only known copy of this version in existence.

Mariano Tomatis wrote an excellent paper on the history of these books, and was gracious enough to answer any questions I had.
Dark Foundry | Magic Creations
www.darkfoundry.com

Labyrinth 1616 | Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century
http://www.darkfoundry.com/labyrinth/
justcookin
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I just saw this one on reddit - looks absolutely wonderful! I visited Venice last month, let's see if I could put this book to good use.
Dr. O
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Order placed and happy to support such an undertaking. Looking forward to seeing this in person.
josefskye
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Waiting to order.....
Dr. O
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Received this in the post today. Very impressive packaging and product. I'm looking forward to spending some time with this.
Scott Douglas
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2017, josefskye wrote:
Waiting to order.....


I'll be opening up the store again on the 18th.

I got through the hurricane with minimal damage. Just some tree branches to clean up in the yard.
Dark Foundry | Magic Creations
www.darkfoundry.com

Labyrinth 1616 | Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century
http://www.darkfoundry.com/labyrinth/
David Parr
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Glad you're okay! Thanks for letting us know!
Scott Douglas
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2017, josefskye wrote:
Waiting to order.....


Ready for orders now Smile

Thanks for your patience!
Dark Foundry | Magic Creations
www.darkfoundry.com

Labyrinth 1616 | Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century
http://www.darkfoundry.com/labyrinth/
Scott Douglas
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Image


The domination spreads in the United States! Sorry to Maryland and Connecticut, I couldn't fit the crossed keys on those states haha

I've also recently sent out a couple of more international orders to France and Italy.

Hope everyone that has received a book so far is enjoying it!
Dark Foundry | Magic Creations
www.darkfoundry.com

Labyrinth 1616 | Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century
http://www.darkfoundry.com/labyrinth/
Martin Pulman
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What an exquisite item. The wax seal is a wonderful touch.
Last Laugh
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Would you say this is more about history and novelty or is this a deceptive effect that might be used in a modern bizarre or mentalism act?
My Mentalism Podcast:
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Direct from me (PW: cassidy)

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Philemon Vanderbeck
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So far, the two people I've shown it to knew exactly how it was done. But then again, they were both highly intelligent people who do computer programming, so that might explain it.

I plan on doing this soon for the students in my high school geometry classes and should get a better feel for how this is received by the general public.

I think if done as PS, it would be incredibly deceptive. During the show, flip through the book and show "hundreds" of images, then reveal the one that a participant is thinking of.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Scott Douglas
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Quote:
On Oct 2, 2017, Last Laugh wrote:
Would you say this is more about history and novelty or is this a deceptive effect that might be used in a modern bizarre or mentalism act?


Great question Smile I created this wanting it to be both a nice collectible historical piece and something that you can perform with.

It's very much a historical prop redone with a modern coat of paint. I have improved the design from the original to be much more deceptive in regards to the method built into the book, as you can pass my version of the out and have people look through it and handle it without any worries. It just looks like a book of illustrations.

Now, could you take this book and just slot it into a modern act? I'm going to say I don't think so. You'll have to consider and work out how to present it. At it's heart it is a 400+ year old effect, and I wanted to respect that because I love the history of it all. As Philemon posted above, some intelligent people will pick up on what is going on if you perform it "right out of the box" because it's an old principle. It can definitely fit into a modern bizarre or mentalist act with some thought on presentation, though.

Thank you for your interest, and your questions!
Dark Foundry | Magic Creations
www.darkfoundry.com

Labyrinth 1616 | Mind Reading Book from the 17th Century
http://www.darkfoundry.com/labyrinth/
Martin Pulman
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This could make a fascinating intro to a routine.
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