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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Origins of the TT (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Spellbinder
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I think Jonathan is asking what written Chinese references or documentation Tom Bartlet is referring to. If anyone knows of any Chinese manuscripts on magic that have been translated into English, I would very much like to know about it. Neither the Linking Rings nor the Rice Bowls are of certain Chinese origin.
Professor Spellbinder

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Tom Bartlett
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Quote:
On 2007-01-10 15:49, Spellbinder wrote:
I think Jonathan is asking what written Chinese references or documentation Tom Bartlet is referring to. If anyone knows of any Chinese manuscripts on magic that have been translated into English, I would very much like to know about it. Neither the Linking Rings nor the Rice Bowls are of certain Chinese origin.


That was my question also, although it must have not been worded correctly. I do have to state, from what I have read, some of the oldest known written manuscripts are Chinese. If this is true, would it not be likely that they had magicians and these magicians wrote thing down.

So yes, what I am asking is there any one aware of any Chinese manuscripts that talk about any magical or mystical effects?
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
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Quote:
On 2007-01-10 16:40, Tom Bartlett wrote:...So yes, what I am asking is there any one aware of any Chinese manuscripts that talk about any magical or mystical effects?


let's settle for trickery and the how-to.

the stories in their fairy tales go back a ways and have "magical" beings and there are also some ancestor worship practices which also go back a ways.

As the mention of the rice bowls and linking rings earlier... well at least they did not cite the laundry ticket or make any coolie jokes.
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Spellbinder
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...or the embarrassing "Chink Cans." Yes, we have much to be proud of. Now I have to get back to repainting my "Buddah Tubes."
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Tony James
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What's wrong with the Chink Cans? I had a set 50 years ago. I still have them though I haven't used them of late.

Why go checking just Chinese literature? I'd try the Greeks and see if there are any references to thumb tips or false fingers. After all, they did have dildos.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Jonathan Townsend
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In answer to the "China" question... it came from this post.
Quote:
On 2007-01-09 22:50, Tom Bartlett wrote:
With some of the oldest written documents and some of the oldest magic coming from China, is there any know mention of using a false finger in any of their scrolls?


I'd also be curious as to any written discussions of actual sleight of hand and methodology from ancient Greek and Roman literature. The few notes cited in other works about using cork balls and cups and breadcrumbs and stones were nice but seemed isolated.

Can you imagine finding something by Aristotle or Plato on conjuring methods? Smile
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Tom Bartlett
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Magic that long ago, would most likely have been disguised as real magic, accomplished by sorcery or wizardry, much like the Hindu Rope Trick.
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2007-01-11 15:29, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Magic that long ago, would most likely have been disguised as real magic, accomplished by sorcery or wizardry, much like the Hindu Rope Trick.

Bangs head against the wall... "Hindu rope trick". Sheesh.

Not talking about fables or tales of the faithful here, just texts discussing how to accomplish what we call conjuring today. Emphasis on the How To.
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Tom Bartlett
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Sorry, my mistake. Smile


Do not some the images (hieroglyphics, drawings, etchings, paintings) predated the written How-To do it stuff? If so wouldn't written mention by an observer, before the first How-To writings, not sound like what we call conjuring today but sorcery or wizardry?


Quote:
On 2007-01-11 16:15, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2007-01-11 15:29, Tom Bartlett wrote:
Magic that long ago, would most likely have been disguised as real magic, accomplished by sorcery or wizardry, much like the Hindu Rope Trick.

Bangs head against the wall... "Hindu rope trick". Sheesh.

Not talking about fables or tales of the faithful here, just texts discussing how to accomplish what we call conjuring today. Emphasis on the How To.

I changed my mind, it was not my mistake and I do not like being talked down to!
Our friends don't have to agree with me about everything and some that I hold very dear don't have to agree about anything, except where we are going to meet them for dinner.
Jonathan Townsend
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Tom, I have nothing to gain by talking down to anyone. There seem very few (if any) ancient references to the how-to of our craft. I have a funny feeling what we may find are things written like "art of war" in flowery language.

The ancient Roman/Greek tricky architecture may be recorded somewhere as plans. My ancient history teacher did not even hint that those guys kept prints or detailed building instructions around. If folks want I can dig up the citation to the cup and stones (really) routine documented back then.

As to the entertainment / small scale... even that quote from a guy's letter in his travels seems to be just that.. a fragment of a description and not method based.

I too look forward to archaeological evidence of magic kits and instruction sheets.

IMHO the roots of our craft in shamanistic practices may have beem kept to oral tradition until recently as it was not in anyone's interest to explain the how-to of guile.
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Mark R. Williams
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Instruction sheets and "how to" books are a recent addition to our written world.

I think we are searching for the "Holy Grail" here.

Even Homer's Iliad was passed down how many generations orally before being written.

All Job skills (including entertainment and Magic)were learned through apprenticeship, handed down from the learned Journeyman to the Student. What a person needed to know was learned in this fashion for Centuries.

Remember it is a recent invention of General Education for anybody, let alone the though that someone might want to learn something outside their 'Position' or different from their cast in life.

And a book to teach somebody magic, what for???

Tracing most magic beyond a few hundred years is next to imposable. Hoping for a clue in the description of a performance is about all we have...

Regards,

M
"One more step on the pathway of Knowledge, that is if we don't break our leg crossing the street"
Doctor Zolar
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I've always liked thumb tips !
So I've "been aware" of them since the 1960's. . . .
In either Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine . . or. . . National Geographic magazine, late 1970's or early 1980's. . .
I can't remember which. . . and can't find it digging thru things here. .
BUT, the magazine had an article and photos about King Tutankhamun (King Tut) tomb. . . and one of the things found in the tomb was a pure gold hollow thumb tip and they "Don't know what it was used for".
When I first saw it. . . I knew what IT COULD BE used for and if covered in flesh makeup. . . could be used to perform MIRACLES !
Sooooooooooo there you have it.
Obviously . . . . there is/was no record on HOW a thumb tip was used back then, but WE know you could influence the minds of many with Spiritual Powers, if you wanted.
I just wanted to drop this info . . . while I was thinking about it and leave it here for others to see.
I have searched the Internet from one end to the other. . . . but, do not find any photo of it.
Hummmmmmmmm. . . .
Doctor Zolar
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And. . . by the way. . . I like to use a thumb tip for ORGANIC things.
Not silks or rope or string or thread or coins (well-maybe coins) but rather. . .
Small pebbles, a little water washed rock, a Lady Bug, a small spider, pieces of corn, common little rock to turquoise,
a moth, small pieces of wood, little flower, seeds, berries, peppercorns, black corn to yellow corn (hard "Indian corn",
rusted military buttons, rusted nail, chunks of natural Myrrh incense-they can KEEP, etc. . (maybe THEIR-"restaurant/Burger King paper napkin) paper napkin/tear-restore) . .Organic, etc.
And NEVER a "silk" but rather, a common bandanna that half of the men carry every day if they do hard work. construction, etc.
Or, my shirt tail, coat, jacket tail, neck scarf, wadded up piece of copy paper, so that it is "soft", t-shirt or THEIR t-shirt, etc.
Organic. Things naturally found in the environment.
Doctor Zolar
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You know. . . just 50-60 years ago, there was not much discussing of secrets.
Things were very quiet.
Tarbell books were the first BIG expose'.
Sure, miscellaneous books from the 1800's, but most was Hush Hush and many magicians would not discuss methods with other magicians. Quite a cut throat world to "become the Best Magician" etc.
Magic secrets and apparatus. . . was quite underground till the early 1940's-50's when Magic Shops appeared nationwide.
A LOT was not documented.
Dick Oslund
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I've mentioned this before, but, just to get it into this post....

At the '75 SAM convention, in Chicago, Bobo and I were having a session, and, he asked if I had seen , "this". "This" was a production and vanish of a 12" 4 momme silk, using a Vernet TT, which was a fairly "new" thing then.

I liked it, and, used the production and vanish for a quick opener for my school show for about 5 years. When the extra long tips became available, I used an 18" half silk.

I still use it, when I want a quick, flashy bit in a strolling situation.

I also use the old Burling Hull "Elusive Silk Van. which I first learned with the old metal tips in the late '40s, from Roy Mayer.

I vaguely recall having a plastic TT earlier than the Vernet, but, it has long ago "disappeared".

BTW. There is an "argument" among some old timers (]I fall into that category!)as to whether the TT is a GIMMICK, or a FEKE! --It certainly is NOT a TRICK! --as some have called it. In the wide sense, it IS A PROP!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Doctor Zolar
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Very hard to "search" for tricks and effects with TT's, as the NAME of the trick does not USE the WORD: "Thumb Tip" in it.
Wonder what the state of the art. . . . Up-To-Date book on Tricks with Thumb Tips would be. . . these days ?
(Other then the Tarbell video I hear/see mentioned . .. .all the time.)

I don't see a category here on the Magic Café. . . that is separated out. . . like the way "CARDS, Pasteboards, Mentalism is . . . etc.
stine
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I remember reading that someone thought that spiritualists invented the TT for use as a billet switch. Obviously they were way off.
Dick Oslund
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I have enjoyed Doctor Zolar's contributions! (I think he and I had the "same mother"!!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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