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Topic: Claude Rix - Beggar's Pearls
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Nov 28, 2005 11:04PM)
A few years ago, the French Magician, Claude Rix, was all the rage with his beautiful "Beggar's Pearls" routine. For the life of me, I cannot recall where this was published. I know that it was commerically available in some form and I thought it made availabe in some form other than purchasing the routine from Rix.

Does anyone know where this routine might be found?

Thanks - Bill
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 29, 2005 11:38PM)
NO! :kermit:
Message: Posted by: Philippe (Nov 30, 2005 05:00AM)
Bill, are you refering to the one by one production from the mouth then they are placed in a line in front of the performer then vanished.
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Nov 30, 2005 07:04AM)
Philippe -

I think that is probably the same routine. However, I thought the pearls were all displayed on the beginning and then vanished one at a time by placing them in the mouth to "wash" them. Also known as the "five little pearls".

It is apparently done by Alexander De Cova in his Close Up Number 1 video, but I remember it also being in print someplace.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 30, 2005 12:18PM)
It sounds like the Ramsay bean trick to me. There was a trick sold back in the 1970's called "The Pearls of Persia," which Brick Tilley used to perform.
Message: Posted by: stine (Nov 30, 2005 02:39PM)
..maybe the "Perplexing Persian Pearls" by Romaine from an original concept of Silent Mora's. A full routine including the use of the mouth found in Frank Garcia's book " The Real Secrets of the Three Ball Routines" ?
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Nov 30, 2005 07:13PM)
[quote]
On 2005-11-30 15:39, stine wrote:
..maybe the "Perplexing Persian Pearls" by Romaine from an original concept of Silent Mora's. A full routine including the use of the mouth found in Frank Garcia's book " The Real Secrets of the Three Ball Routines" ?
[/quote]

Romaine's 'Persian Pearls' is on his DVD.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Nov 30, 2005 09:53PM)
Thank all of you very much. I am certainly much closer now than when I posted my original message.

Bill - there are similaries to Ramsay's "bean" trick, but this is a different routine. I think you are correct about Brick Tilley (that's a name I haven't recalled in years!) doing the routine. There are some brain cells back there someplace that seem to remember seeing him perform the routine. However, I checked the three sets of his lecture notes in my files and it's not there. He may have sold it separately.

stine - a portion of Romaine's routine is very similar, but his routine in the Garcia book is much longer and uses fewer balls (three instead of five - maybe they reduced the number of balls so Frank could include the routine in the "...three ball routines" book :bg: ) However, the Romaine routine cites "The Magic of Rezvani" and when I checked there, I found "The Ivory Marbles" which reads almost exactly like I remember the Claude Rix routine. This routine must have been the inspiration for the Rix routine.

taliesin - Now I have another reason to go buy the Romaine DVD.

I still think I have a write up of the routine that was sold commercially someplace in my magic "mess". At least, I now have enough to reconstruct the routine.

Thank you all - including Werner, who contacted me via personal email with the De Cova information (since he has apparently been banned ??? from here until Christmas). I really appreciate your help.

Bill
Message: Posted by: PaulGreen (Nov 30, 2005 10:56PM)
Back in the late 60's and early 70's, Danny Rouzer did this routine at the Magic Castle. He spoke of the Itchagoomie Bakery Company and its Itchagoomie Pearl Cake. It was an interesting routine that I never considered performing as it entailed putting the pearls into your mouth (really!) and then removing them.

Regards,

Paul (Hygenic) Green
Message: Posted by: Philippe (Dec 1, 2005 02:38AM)
Hello Bill. It is the five little pearls and I have the routine sitting on my shelf along with the origional beads (unused). I saw this performed at a Ron Macmillans Day of Magic by the author some 25 years ago and bought his only spare set.
If I can help in any way, please let me know.
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Dec 1, 2005 09:29AM)
Paul - that sounds like the routine although. Yes, most of the versions of the "Persian Pearls" include the mouth ... definitely not a routine for everyone but a very beautiful routine when done correctly by the right person. I must admit that a "Itchagoomie Pearl Cake" doesn't sound very appetizing either... could be bad for the teeth !

Phillipe - thanks - I have sent you a private email.
Message: Posted by: François (Dec 1, 2005 02:56PM)
This wonderfull routine has been performed by the great persan Magician Rezvani, who taught it to Claude Rix, he also learned to Claude his great bowls routines.
let me a few days Bill to look in my books, but I think I've got this routine on paper....
I will pm you in few days.
Have a nice day.
Message: Posted by: mike gallo (Dec 1, 2005 03:24PM)
"Itchagoomie Pearl Cake" doesn't sound very appetizing either... could be bad for the teeth !


Not to worry Bill...it's sugar free ;)!

Mike
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 1, 2005 07:39PM)
I remember seeing Rix do this on one of his early visits to the USA... in his hands (and mouth) it was very magical.

I think Bongers also did it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 1, 2005 07:46PM)
I don't know if Abe Bongers did it, but I think Fred Kaps might have. ;)

BTW, Paul, Pete -- I don't know if I have asked either of you this, but do you remember a fellow who used to be at the Castle, who performed under the name "Djimm?" His real name was Jim Wirtensohn. He had the best diagonal palm shift I ever saw...from across the room.
Message: Posted by: mike gallo (Dec 1, 2005 10:38PM)
The late Willis Kenney had a fantastic handling of this effect...fooled me badly with several of the phases!

Mike
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Dec 1, 2005 10:58PM)
Thank you everyone for your continuing help on the "Five Little Pearls" routine. I really appreciate all your efforts.

Mike - odd you should mention the late Willis Kenney. It is his handling of this routine that has inspired my search for the Claude Rix source. Willis mentioned that he bought the routine "...from a fellow with a very short name." His handling is somewhat different than I remember Rix doing it.

Bill and I remember Brick Tilley doing the routine as well. Does anyone know if Brick is still doing magic?

Bill
Message: Posted by: Parcifal (Dec 2, 2005 04:02AM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 20:46, Bill Palmer wrote:
I don't know if Abe Bongers did it, but I think Fred Kaps might have. ;)
[/quote]You guys are so knowledgable,my respect. Apart from his first name was "Abraham",mostly called "Bram",he also had 2 middle names,one of them starting with "P", the other one starting also with "A",which made his complete name "Abraham P. A. Bongers"
Now it is your turn to figure out his 2 middle names.
Message: Posted by: Philippe (Dec 2, 2005 06:20AM)
Billwells, I have PMd you re the pearls
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Dec 2, 2005 08:46PM)
[/quote]You guys are so knowledgable,my respect. Apart from his first name was "Abraham",mostly called "Bram",he also had 2 middle names,one of them starting with "P", the other one starting also with "A",which made his complete name "Abraham P. A. Bongers"
Now it is your turn to figure out his 2 middle names.
[/quote]

Abraham Pieter Adrienus Bongers - The greatest all around magican I have ever known.
Message: Posted by: kOnO (Dec 2, 2005 09:10PM)
[quote]
On 2005-11-30 22:53, BillWells wrote:
Thank you all - including Werner, who contacted me via personal email with the De Cova information (since he has apparently been banned ??? from here until Christmas). I really appreciate your help.

Bill

[/quote]

Bill,
I don't think we are suppose to talk about people being banned from the "Café". I once had a post and a whole topic vanished because we were welcoming a Café member back from being banned. I don't think the Café want's anyone to know that some people get banned.

kOnO
Message: Posted by: Parcifal (Dec 2, 2005 10:38PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-02 21:46, BillWells wrote:
Abraham Pieter Adrienus Bongers - The greatest all around magican I have ever known.
[/quote]My compliments!Also his second name was Piet(which is the same as Pieter),and his 3d name Adrianus,it is great to se some people know their history and do know about one of their greatest exponents of the art.(Yes, A.P.A. Bongers in short)Salute BillWells.
Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Dec 3, 2005 05:34AM)
Any dvd's about the pearls available?
Message: Posted by: joespc (Dec 3, 2005 07:01AM)
Claude Rix's routine was published in the book "Five Little Beads". Written by Horace and translated by Ali Bongo in 1986. The book was 40 pages long and included a history of the effect and many variations. The set I have also included 6 ivory colored beads (1 was larger than the rest).
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Dec 3, 2005 01:46PM)
[/quote - partial]

Bill,
I don't think we are suppose to talk about people being banned from the "Café".
...

kOnO

[/quote]

kOnO -

Thanks for your comments. Yes...I have noticed that things sometimes go "poof" and vanish here. I checked the rules and they don't say a banned person's name cannot be mentioned. I mentioned Werner because I was so shocked that he was banned. I don't know the reasons and I fully understand that anyone who invests the great amount of time and effort to maintain a forum such as this one has every right to impose whatever rules they wish. I also understand the need to maintain proper conduct, etc. However, when the forum is about magicians helping magicians and Werner who is one of the most helpful people posting here gets "wacked", it does make one wonder. Werner continues to be helpful to me with regard to my above question so I felt it apropos to mention his plight in conjunction with his response to my request since he didn't allow being banned to prevent his being helpful. Now ... we probably need to focus more diretly on the topic at hand.

Again...thank you for your comments. This is a somewhat murky area that would probably benefit from better explanations when these mysterious things happen.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 3, 2005 02:23PM)
Kaps' real names... are close to mine too... Peter Andreas Biro.

Bram, as his family and friends called him, came up with the stage name Fred Kaps by looking through the phone book just to see what name appealed to him.

There was a store on Holland named "Daps" -- he liked the sound of it but didn't want to be the same so he changed the D to K and Kaps was born. Fred came about just saying different names with Kaps and seemed to flow nicely.

One other name he used, early on, was Mystica.
Message: Posted by: Parcifal (Dec 3, 2005 03:16PM)
Yes Mr. Biro,I thought recall the companies name,that manufactored raincoats was "Daks", and as the sound of that name was good A.P.A Bongers and Henk Vermeyden did choose "Kaps"
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 3, 2005 03:32PM)
I think "Bing" Bongers would have been a great name.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 3, 2005 06:58PM)
Daks it was... sorry... senior moment!
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Dec 3, 2005 07:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-03 06:34, ROBERT BLAKE wrote:
Any dvd's about the pearls available?
[/quote]

Robert -

From the responses I have gotten, I do not believe there are any DVDs available of anyone doing the "Five Littel Pearls" routine. There is a tape of Alexander de Cova performing the effect as taught to him by Claude Rix. There is not an explanation of the effect by de Cova. The tape is Close Up Session Nr 1. However, the tape is fairly old and very difficult to locate in this country. You might be able to find it on the German eBay. The tape is in German, but de Cova does a silent performance of the "pearls" so it really doesn't matter.

Romaine does a pearl routine on his DVD, but it is somewhat different than the "Five Little Pearls" or "Beggar's Pearls" as originally done by Rezvani and later by Claude Rix and others. However, a number of the same moves are employed by Romaine.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Howard Hamburg (Apr 30, 2010 05:36PM)
[quote]
On 2005-11-30 13:18, Bill Palmer wrote:
It sounds like the Ramsay bean trick to me. There was a trick sold back in the 1970's called "The Pearls of Persia," which Brick Tilley used to perform.hey,bill brickandwalter@aol.com I'm still here under the rock


[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Howard Hamburg (Apr 30, 2010 05:37PM)
[quote]
On 2005-12-01 23:58, Bill Wells wrote:
Thank you everyone for your continuing help on the "Five Little Pearls" routine. I really appreciate all your efforts.....bill,am still here brickandwalter@aol.com under a rock

Mike - odd you should mention the late Willis Kenney. It is his handling of this routine that has inspired my search for the Claude Rix source. Willis mentioned that he bought the routine "...from a fellow with a very short name." His handling is somewhat different than I remember Rix doing it.

Bill and I remember Brick Tilley doing the routine as well. Does anyone know if Brick is still doing magic?

Bill
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Mark Ross (Apr 30, 2010 06:38PM)
Claude Rix performed this at FFFF last year, but used what apeared to be beans, or something similar.. A truly artistic presentation, in spite of the language barrier. He got a standing ovation.

Mark
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 30, 2010 06:47PM)
Brick was one of the contributing editors of the Mark Wilson Course in Magic.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (May 1, 2010 01:19AM)
Claude Rix learned the routine from Rezvani. Hence the name of Persian Pearls. He does the trick with small ivory pearls and a small longitudinal black velvet mat.

The effect is fairly different from John Ramsay's Four Little Beans and Claude's performance is very magical indeed. The last time I saw Claude perform this routine was in Paris in 2009 the very day Ali Bongo had the stroke that would steal him from us.

Claude's performance is really extremely magical and, with his stack handling, it's one of his two signature effects. It's a beautiful thing to watch despite the common reluctance about things being brought to the mouth and back out (which Claude Rix is well aware of).

Claude's patter deals with this and makes the whole routine a moment of pure magic proving that when a magician does the same trick for 50 years, it becomes as smooth as silk and no one gets tired of seeing it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 1, 2010 03:02AM)
Van Cleve used to perform a version of this called "The Ring Trick." It was mystifying, but it was also one of the funniest routines for the ball/bean/pearl trick that I have ever seen.

His closing line was "there is only one thing that is funnier than watching me perform the bean trick for the first time, and that is watching someone else watching me perform the bean trick for the first time."
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 3, 2010 01:43PM)
I saw Rezvani's 'Beggar's Pearl' performed by French magician 'Horace'. It was at the final Supreme Brittany Super Day - I forget the year (around the 1980's)! But I do remember that it was one of the most magical presentations that I have ever seen.

I spoke to Ali Bongo about it and he sent me the complete package - wooden balls, velvet bag/performing surface and a booklet with the entire Horace routine which included the Claude Rix variations (including the 'elegant move' - a periodic sip of water from a champagne flute when placing each ball into the mouth). Ali had written it by arrangement and had translated Horace's work from the French.

I tried hard for some time but was unable to hold the balls in my mouth without 'gagging'.

According to Horace, the Persians (Iranians) learned it from childhood and were/are taught to carry small pebbles in their mouths for hours on end - speaking, eating and drinking etc. until the pebbles become un-noticed.

Ali told me that if I mastered it, I would have an exclusive - he knew of no one in the U.K. who have ever performed the trick. Ramsay's 'Five Little Peas' was based upon the same principle, but much simpler. Although even with Ramsay's version, you need to hold dried peas under your tongue!

Leslie
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 3, 2010 04:03PM)
This reminds me of the classic Greek method of becoming an orator. The prospective orator would fill his mouth with marbles and practice speaking. Over a period of months, he would remove one marble from his mouth every day until finally, when he had lost all his marbles, he was a qualified orator.
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 3, 2010 04:28PM)
Here's a YouTube clip of Claude Rix - How's your French?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXIpoU_PeaA

Leslie
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 3, 2010 05:10PM)
Horace Bennett has a nice pearl routine in his book by Magic Mehods "Bennett's Best". Use a sea shell and pearls.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 4, 2010 11:39AM)
Leslie... thanks for the link. It had been a very long time since I had seen Rix do his routine.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 4, 2010 11:42AM)
I recently received a very nice set of these from an old friend, whom I saw perform this many years ago.

I won't mention his name, but he was kind enough to send these to me after he visited the cups and balls museum.
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 4, 2010 01:14PM)
[quote]
On 2010-07-04 12:39, Pete Biro wrote:
Leslie... thanks for the link. It had been a very long time since I had seen Rix do his routine.
[/quote]

I had never seen Claude Rix before and have to say that I was slightly disappointed, my memory of Horace was that he had more flair and flourish and even though he too spoke in French, I more easily understood the story about the street performer and having his hand severed etc.

But both performers displayed amazing skills!

Leslie
Message: Posted by: Nicholas young (Oct 23, 2010 02:24PM)
The best presentation and performance I have seen of this effect came from a dutch magician by the name of Jean-Paul Mertens. He published the routine on tape many years back as well as in some of his lecture notes, I believe all productions were done through a local magic distributor called Mephisto. I don't know exactly how original his routine is technique wise, but the construction of the routine and the killer ending are, I believe, original.

I remember seeing him perform the routine for the first time. It was a very magical and well structured routine, but the success of the trick lies in the presentation, which in turn can only be done by a suitable character.

Much can be done with the effect in the right hands (and mouth). JP has been in the field for a very long time and the pearl routine is his pet effect. If you would like more details or have questions and can not contact him, send me a PM and I will dig out the old phone book...

Regards,

N
Message: Posted by: panlives (Oct 24, 2010 09:18AM)
[quote]
On 2010-07-03 17:03, Bill Palmer wrote:
This reminds me of the classic Greek method of becoming an orator. The prospective orator would fill his mouth with marbles and practice speaking. Over a period of months, he would remove one marble from his mouth every day until finally, when he had lost all his marbles, he was a qualified orator.
[/quote]

Hi Bill,

I think it was the Greek orator Demosthenes who, as the story goes, overcame a severe speech impediment by forcing himself to speak with stones in his mouth.

Has anyone to your knowledge used this historical story as the premise for such a routine?

It has a lot of human interest – overcoming a deficiency and becoming successful against all odds...
Message: Posted by: panlives (Oct 24, 2010 09:22AM)
A more “modern” version comes from “My Fair Lady.”

For those unfamiliar with the story, a linguistics professor in London named Henry Higgins makes a wager with a friend that he can rid a working-class girl, Eliza Doolittle, of her Cockney accent and teach her to speak like a proper lady.

In one of his many drills, he insists that Eliza fill her mouth with marbles and then read a series of phrases.

This reference might be more familiar to our audiences.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 31, 2010 02:11PM)
Claude Rix and Horace routines are the Rezvani's one

The routine appeared in print for the first time in 1877 in Sleight of Hand by Edwin T. Sachs as The Chinese Marble Trick

Louis McCord "Silent Mora" became famous before the first world war with his "Silent Mora's 4 Ball and Net Trick" (and his Chinese sticks routine). Silent Mora was famous for this classic routine, in which four white balls miraculously appeared and disappeared, dropping from his hands into a net held by spectators. In the routine Louis McCord also introduced what is now known as the Vernon Wand spin vanish (in the Professor's C&Bs routine). He was also doing away with placing the balls in the performer's mouth.

Then in 1946, Mehjid Kahn Rezvani wrote "Les Billes d’Ivoire" on p 84 of his book La Magie du Sorcier written by Maurice Sardina. A slightly different description appeared in the mammoth work of the Dr Jules Dhotel, "La Prestidigitation sans Bagages"

Also in 1946 in Stars of Magie, Series 1, issue 1 appeared a “Classic Ball Routine” by John Scarne. The routine can also be seen in Johnny Thompson's as "3 Ball Routine" (John Scarne / Oscar Pladic) in his Volume 3 DVD, Johnny Thompson Commercial Classics of Magic.

Maurice Sardina also described John Ramsay's "Four little beans" in 1952

Then Lewis Ganson in 1955 described Charles Harrison's Marvelous Marbles in his book A Magician Explains

In 1956, J.G. Thompson, Jr. released Tops Secrets of Magic, Vol 1 with, page 57, “Spheroid Skullduggery”

In 1957, Lewis Ganson on p p 61 of The Dai Vernon Book of Magic wrote the Professor's "Three Ball Transposition" doing away with the placing of the balls in the mouth

In 1975, Horace Bennett's book Bennett’s Best p 3 released The Pearl using seven pearls: four white, a pink one, a green one and a very large one and a large shell

Then came, in 1978, with The Real Secrets of the Three Ball Routines by Frank Garcia was released p 45 Romaine's routine “The Perplexing Persian Pearls”.

Richard Kaufman then offered us in 1993 Secrets Draun From Underground - The wonderful magic of Steve Draun with p 140 Steve’s Marbles

Thus the fame of the effect was really established by Silent Mora and Rezvani and is known by the new generations thanks to Dai Vernon and Lewis Ganson and more recently by the superb performance of Johnny Thompson

It is now a true and beautiful classic of the Magic art
Message: Posted by: Juno Temple (Jan 5, 2014 05:59PM)
Lawrence O - How can we thank you for your most excellent historical perspective concerning a curiously devlish 'trick'? Well, I for one will say that the Magic Café owes it's fine reputation to individuals like you, Lawrence O, and so I send my appreciation in a most personal way.
Message: Posted by: JLemoine (Oct 23, 2014 08:34AM)
I've been doing Claude Rix's Beggar's Pearls for some time, now, and it's a really beautiful trick, but I'm having trouble to think about a patter that really suits me. First of all, I'd like to find a nice justification for putting the pearls into the mouth (Claude Rix says something like "to count ivory, you have to moist it". Everybody seems happy with that, but I'd like something more "true").
Any idea is welcome.
For example, I'd love to know if Revzani's patter was close to the one used by Claude Rix.
Thanks a lot.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Oct 25, 2014 01:46PM)
Many years ago I read that thieves will rub pearl necklaces across their teeth to determine whether they are genuine. According to the book, there is a texture difference that cannot be replicated by any artificial means. Patter about pearl merchants checking them this way or pearl thieves would possibly justify the mouth.

Just a thought.

Patrick
Message: Posted by: JLemoine (Oct 27, 2014 05:27AM)
That's a very good idea!
Indeed, the "tooth test" seems to be a common method (not only among thieves) to tell if a pearl is real.
http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-a-Pearl-Is-Real
Love this idea.
Thanks a lot, Mr Woolery.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Nov 1, 2014 06:03AM)
With the excellent film on George VI [the King Of England with a dignified reign during the WWII] called "the King's Speach" we now have some ground for a revived patter on Demosthene's tuition

The fact that the Romans where eating pearls dissolved in vinegar as a delight can also be used in creating a script away from Persia for as long as Iran will remain unpopular. These were part of the acetabula (the glass cups for vinegar preserves used by the Romans for the cups and balls). We could introduce the pearls in a light red liquid and test the "eating" of pearls of different ages and millesimes ... not appreciating the first one and spitting it out for comparison with a more recent one... just to find out that they all taste like vinegar but teach speaking honey to any audience's ears like Demosthene.
Message: Posted by: JLemoine (Nov 6, 2014 05:08PM)
Also a very good idea. Very original.
Indeed, the Romans didn't eat pearls, it was Pliny the Elder who said that, once, Cleopatra dissolved a pearl into vinegar in order to make the most expensive meal possible and impress Antony (http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/6868).
Nonetheless, I think I can build a nice and funny patter around a gourmet meal of pearls in vinegar, then make them disappear & reappear explaining that it is just a legend coming from Pliny (and that, in reality, pearls in vinegar cannot dissolve so fast).
Thanks a lot!