(Close Window)
Topic: Which cups not to buy.......
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 6, 2010 08:51PM)
There was a post on here not too long ago dealing with which cups to buy. The flip side of that coin might be interesting as well: which cups not to buy. Here are some candidates:

1. Don't buy aluminum cups unless they're a legitimate collector's item, e.g. the vintage Sherms mini/micro cups.
2. Don't buy brass cups unless they're heavy enough to use as a step stool if you need an extra three inches to reach the top cabinet to get the peanut butter.
3. Don't buy cups in copper using the same guideline as #2.
4. Don't buy cups made in India unless they're vintage Tayade.
5. Don't buy Paul Fox "style" cups unless they're Paul Fox cups.
6. Don't buy plastic cups unless they're vintage Adams or Royal and you just like to have some cups the grandkids can play with.
7. Don't buy wood cups unless you're strong enough not to cry when you drop them on a concrete floor.

Just some thoughts.......
Message: Posted by: dsalley13 (Jun 6, 2010 09:06PM)
I bought the Chinese made faux Paul Fox cups as my starter set. I still have them and they were wonderful to use to see if I could adapt to cups and balls work. They served me well for being under $100 cups and still do when I need a bigger set of cups than my PF minis.

I agree totally with the rest of your list of pointers. I sure don't want to cry if I drop my Viking/Excelsior turned mahogany chop cup. I know I would, but I'd source another one. Darn that would hurt. Ack!!! I don't want to think about it!

I want Mr. Guinn (sp?) to to adopt me and leave me his pretty cups in his will! :o)


dsalley13
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 6, 2010 09:16PM)
I confess I have never really seen the Chinese faux Paul Fox cups in person. It just seemed to me that if you were going to spend $90 on a set of cups you should go ahead and get the real deal from RNT2 or second hand on ebay. A nice set of stainless steel RNT2 Paul Fox cups sold last week on ebay for only $125. If you like them, that's all that is important.
Message: Posted by: dmueller (Jun 6, 2010 09:18PM)
Out of curiosity what exactly is wrong with aluminum cups?
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 6, 2010 09:38PM)
It's just my opinion, is all. I think they look and feel cheap. That said, they made some Foxy II cups in heavy aluminum with the CNC process and I'm going to get me a set someday. I think they'll still look and feel cheap compared to the copper ones made the same way, but I'd just like to have a set in my collection. If you like to make a little noise and bang your cups together aluminum just doesn't sound like music to my ears. Aluminum will scratch easier and dent easier as a rule. Like I said, just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Jun 6, 2010 09:46PM)
My 1st set of cups was Uday alluminum combo cups. They were affordable for me at that time. My journey in the cups and balls road started from these cups.

I have a set of RNT2 Mendoza Alluminum. And I like them. They are "heavy gauge" alluminum (I have no idea what heavy gauge is, but I'm guessing it's thicker). They have a nice weight, although still lighter than the copper JES Squatty's.
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (Jun 6, 2010 09:50PM)
The Classic cups in aluminum from RNT2 are very "innocent" looking and have all the great features of a C&B set. And the Ramsay cups that RNT2 put out with Pete Biro HAD to be made of aluminum (or cardboard) to be functional. Any other metal would not really work with the John Ramsay routine. However, I agree that cheap aluminum cups are a ppor choice when you can get a copper starter set from Morrissey.

I have a set of Paul Faux cups and I would agree not to get them only due to copyright of the design. I hate it when I see a magic shop selling these as "paul fox" cups and someone buys them.

As for plastic cups, I kinda enjoy the CNC'd Derlin cups. If you are loading something that isn't soft they talk a lot less.

-Lee
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 6, 2010 09:56PM)
Yin_howe, if you like them, that's what matters. According to the RNT2 site, the aluminum Mendoza cups weigh about 2.8 oz each compared to 7 oz for the copper. For me personally, I'd want the copper. Heavier cups just feel "right" to me.
----
[quote]
On 2010-06-06 22:50, djkuttdecks wrote:

As for plastic cups, I kinda enjoy the CNC'd Derlin cups. If you are loading something that isn't soft they talk a lot less.

-Lee
[/quote]

Yes, I like the delrin cups too. They feel like toys to me (expensive toys), but I do have the White Beauty, Black Beauty and El Royale sets.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 6, 2010 10:01PM)
There are a few really glorious aluminum cup sets. I have a set of Auke van Dokkum aluminum cups that are really, really nice.

I also just got a set of cups that belonged to Ali Bongo. They are gold anodized aluminum Davenport cups.
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Jun 6, 2010 10:07PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-06 22:51, dhouck wrote:
Yin_howe, if you like them, that's what matters. According to the RNT2 site, the aluminum Mendoza cups weigh about 2.8 oz each compared to 7 oz for the copper. For me personally, I'd want the copper. Heavier cups just feel "right" to me.
[/quote]

Of course I also prefer Copper to Aluminum, but they are good cups for those on a budget or are starting out in CnB. :)
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 6, 2010 10:09PM)
Bill, those sound like legitimate collectors items to me, and I agree those would be great cups. Ben Stone had a set of aluminum cups that were chromed that were unique to me. They were from Mid-America Magic, the company that Joe Stevens, Ed (can't spell his last name, but he was from your state of Texas) and Ben started many years ago. I think his only surviving son has those now. They were super light though, and definitely felt like aluminum.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 6, 2010 10:56PM)
Ed Tamborello was the third party. I saw him about a year ago at his wife's funeral.

Those Ben Stone cups were neat, because they were the first ones that used the principle that Jedinat uses for his chop cups. They were combo cups.

The main problem with aluminum cups is their weight. But there are a few that feel pretty good in hand.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jun 7, 2010 12:45AM)
I have the Foxy II Combo alums as well the RNT2 Ramsey's and they both have a very nice feel to em!

MMc
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Jun 7, 2010 01:28AM)
I can't really say I agree with any of those statements 100%.
Message: Posted by: rannie (Jun 7, 2010 03:01AM)
I have used aluminum cups for the longest time. YES the el cheapo cups. The very same set that got me started. Also the same set that I used to win many competitions. It is also the same cups that got me booked for shows and lectures. I am not saying that this is the way to go. All I am saying is that there are no hard and fast rule... evidence that aluminums are a no no.

It was only later in my magical life as a performer that I started owning coppers and brass. Now I think I have way too much! I can now see the difference. The weight factor definitely makes some moves easier.

A cheap performance would certainly make an expensive cup worthless. At the end of the day.... the magic is still in the hands of the magician.

My personal rule when buying... "DO NOT buy what you don't really like" If you are "iffy" about a set... cahnces are... you don't really like em! Like, want and need are words to consider. Also ask these questions...1) Is it just nice to have? 2) It is beautiful....? Can I handle them well?

If you are a serious collector... go ahead and keep buying... as long as you know what you are getting. If you are a performer who makes a living out of doing magic... you can easily see in advance the returns of your investments.

We all have different tastes and feel for our props.

Only the owner of the cup can be the judge of its worth... in beauty and in function. Many say that CNC cups have no soul compared to hand made cups. As a craftsman, I totally agree... as a performer... I can honestly say that I can put soul even on a starbucks paper cup set.


Mabuhay and Cheers from Manila!

Rannie
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 7, 2010 04:41AM)
When one speaks in absolutes, invariably there are those who take exception and invariably there are legitimate exceptions. I think there was a collective "gasp" across the country when Johnny Ace Palmer pulled out his silver plated cups on the Letterman show. Bill Palmer identified them as Gary Animal Gazzo cups and they were beyond beautiful. I think there would have been a collective "gasp" as well had he pulled out a set of aluminum Uday cups. The gasps would have had different meanings, however.

I believe that magic is where you find it and it can absolutely be found in a set of Starbucks cups. There is no doubt in my mind that Johnny Ace Palmer could find magic in a set of Uday cups. Still, I'm glad he didn't.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jun 7, 2010 06:28AM)
Stevie Ray Vaughan played a guitar for all of his career that most most people would have thrown in the bin but he could make it sing. Soul is not just in your equipment, it's in yer fingers and heart....
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Jun 7, 2010 08:28AM)
I doubt laymen give a hoot about our cups.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jun 7, 2010 08:42AM)
I have no doubt what so ever! I know they couldn't give a flying fig! :bigsmile:
It is only us magicians who care!

Friend's have cringed when they asked how much some of my cheaper cups were, they cannot comprehend that I would pay 35 for a set of 3 cups, I dare not tell them what some have cost!

Bri
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 7, 2010 08:53AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 07:28, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
Stevie Ray Vaughan played a guitar for all of his career that most most people would have thrown in the bin but he could make it sing. Soul is not just in your equipment, it's in yer fingers and heart....
[/quote]

Stevie basically built that guitar, though, just to fit the way he played. I've done the same thing with banjos.
Imagine what people think when I tell them about the HMS Victory cups!
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 7, 2010 09:11AM)
I have a Santa Cruz chop cup from the Colin Rose "Trafalgar Collection." Owning this cup violates suggestion #7 on my list, however. I'm pretty sure I would cry if I dropped this on a concrete floor and it was damaged.

I definitely think it's best not to tell people what we have paid for some of our cups!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 7, 2010 09:19AM)
You are right. Normal people do not understand the actions of the abnormal. I'm putting myself into that category.

I have a friend who knows a guy (this is not an urban legend) who had a Losander table -- one of the $1250 ones. He was getting ready to perform at a Christmas party in one of the wealthier neighborhoods in Houston. He had set up the Losander table, and left it unguarded. When he came back, several idiots had placed their drinks on top of the table, and it had broken.

The fellow went ballistic! He was ranting when the host came over.

The host said, "I'll replace it." He got out his wallet. "What did it cost?"

"$1250.00"

The host examined the wreckage and said "$1250.00!!!??? This thing's made out of b****! You PAID [b]$1250.00 FOR A TABLE MADE OUT OF B****!!! [i]ARE YOU CRAZY?[/b][/i]."

It could have been prevented if the fellow had known about watching your props like a hawk and not placing them where people can do that to them.

Expensive lesson.
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Jun 7, 2010 09:20AM)
I think Bill Malone violates suggestion #6 when perform Rub a Dub-dub Cups and Balls
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jun 7, 2010 09:23AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 09:53, Bill Palmer wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 07:28, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
Stevie Ray Vaughan played a guitar for all of his career that most most people would have thrown in the bin but he could make it sing. Soul is not just in your equipment, it's in yer fingers and heart....
[/quote]

Stevie basically built that guitar, though, just to fit the way he played. I've done the same thing with banjos.
[/quote]

Bill, being a musician, have you visited Charley's Guitar Shop where Stevie first picked up number1? I know it is in your neck of the woods (wish it were in mine!)

I know Rene Martinez had a hard job keeping number 1 alive, Stevie was so hard on his kit!

Real Stevie fans can tell the year of bootleg footage by the parts on number 1 as it was built and rebuilt so many times! I can't say I am that fanatical though!

I plan to visit Texas someday and take a tour :)

To at least end on topic I guess this shows how your equipment, although nice is only part of what you bring to the table...

Bri
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 7, 2010 09:26AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 10:20, walid ahumada wrote:
I think Bill Malone violates suggestion #6 when perform Rub a Dub-dub Cups and Balls
[/quote]

Well, that routine has used inexpensive plastic cups for a long time. Michael Skinner used the Adams or Royal cups for that effect when he was famous for it during the 1990's and possibly before. The difference was that Michael Skinner used it when performing when children were present and Bill Malone uses it for "adult" children as well. Michael Skinner didn't use final loads when he did it. I like Bill's Malone's finish line.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jun 7, 2010 09:31AM)
[quote]
I have a friend who knows a guy (this is not an urban legend) who had a Losander table , <snip> several idiots had placed their drinks on top of the table, and it had broken.
[/quote]

That is tragic, I feel for him. The only thing like that which has happened to me was my partner "dumped a broken bulb", it was actually half an original Scotty York bulb, the other half was charging. I could have cried...

Bri
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Jun 7, 2010 09:34AM)
I love watching people "in the know" reaction when Kent goes to flipping his engraved Sherwoods!
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jun 7, 2010 09:44AM)
I have to agree Mickey, when I first saw him tossing those in the air I almost crossed myself!
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 7, 2010 10:33AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 10:19, Bill Palmer wrote:

It could have been prevented if the fellow had known about watching your props like a hawk and not placing them where people can do that to them.

Expensive lesson.
[/quote]

There was this guy who used to live in Springfield, Missouri (not an urban legend either, but I'm being intentionally vague about his identity), who had a a set of RNT Bells of St. Marys cups silver plated. He couldn't find one of the original six sets that were made in sterling, so he did what he thought was second best. His wife was a Longaberger basket dealer and they made ceramic flower pots as well as baskets. One day he was playing with a set of the flower pots, using them for cups and balls. His wife was not happy about it. One day he came home and saw his silver plated cups on display in her flower pot basket. She had taken his cups out to his shop and drilled holes in the bottoms with a drill press. She said since he liked her Longaberger flower pots so much she decided to "trade." After the divorce, she ended up with the sterling "flower pots" and he ended up with four sets of the ceramic ones. Now, a few years later, I have someone go to her garage sales looking for some "silver colored flower pots" for me.

Another expensive lesson.
----
Ooops! I meant to say THIS GUY I WAS TALKING ABOUT has someone go to her garage sales looking for silver colored flower pots.

Well. I'll just make that #8 on my list of cups not to buy: "silver colored" flower pots that look like the old Bells of St. Marys cups. However, even though you shouldn't buy them, please send an email to: poordevil@dakotajmagic.com and let him know where to find them......
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jun 7, 2010 10:57AM)
After a David Regal lecture that included his wonderful "Cups and Balls and Cups and Balls" routine, somebody asked David what kind of cups he used. His response was that he used the cheap aluminum cups that everyone disparages and said that he'd never seen a cups and balls routine that was significantly improved by expensive cups.

Food for thought.

John

PS David, if you read this, I hope I got your essential message straight. If not, please correct me.
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 7, 2010 11:43AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 10:34, MickeyPainless wrote:
I love watching people "in the know" reaction when Kent goes to flipping his engraved Sherwoods!
[/quote]

I would flip Sherwood cups in the air. But first I'd want to take juggling lessons, then I'd want to do it from the center of a king size bed in a carpeted bedroom with extra pillows all around. Then I'd live dangerously and maybe flip them as high as 6" or so.
Message: Posted by: dsalley13 (Jun 7, 2010 01:01PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 09:54, Bill Palmer wrote:
Imagine what people think when I tell them about the HMS Victory cups!
[/quote]

Mr. Palmer,

Are the "HMS Victory Cups" shown in your museum? I couldn't find them and a Goggle search listed only some cup for a sailing event with that name.


dsalley13
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jun 7, 2010 02:08PM)
Look up item number SC 215 in the search or scroll down through the special and boxed sets (and drool while you are doing it!)

Bri
(so grateful that Bill Palmer shares his toys with us all!)
Message: Posted by: dsalley13 (Jun 7, 2010 02:44PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 15:08, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
Look up item number SC 215 in the search or scroll down through the special and boxed sets (and drool while you are doing it!)

Bri
(so grateful that Bill Palmer shares his toys with us all!)
[/quote]
Bri,

All I get is "No cups match your request. I can't seem to find the "Special and Boxed Sets" category either. I must be doing something wrong, or I belong under a cup! I did get out my "Drool-Cup" in anticipation, but I can't seem to find the "HMS Victory Cups".

dsalley13

Posted: Jun 7, 2010 3:49pm
Oops! I found it. That category is hidden as a sub-category.

WOW!!! I'd keep them in a safe deposit box if I had them!!! Gloriously beautiful!!! I have my eye on one of his small chop cups. Mr. Rose produces so many fine things. Those are wonderful!!!

I will go crawl back under my cup now...

dsalley13
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Jun 7, 2010 03:25PM)
Sorry Dale, I will have a clear out! (you should have PM'd me and told me) :rotf:
Bri
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 7, 2010 04:02PM)
The purchase of these cups would go against suggestion #1, however, for a set of cups of kids in aluminum, $10 isn't too bad and the colors are pretty!

http://madhattermagicshop.com/magicshop/product_info.php?products_id=8328
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 8, 2010 12:00AM)
Those are actually rather nice cups for the money, especially at the reduced price.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 8, 2010 06:08AM)
Beginning to work/play with the set of Sino-Indian aluminum cups I purchased at a local magic shop, I noticed two problems with them. The first problem, already described and illustrated in another thread, was that the mirror-finish on the interior of the cups resulted in a tell when a loaded cup was rested mouth upwards on the table. (I fixed that with spray paint.)

The second problem is that the cups are so thin, that even a single ball talks if it is dropped in. That makes some of the loading moves difficult to do.

Perhaps I could learn to drop the ball more gently. Or use sponge balls. (I'm using RNT2 1 inch regular balls.)

I think this problem has less to do with the material (aluminum) than with the thin walls of the cups. I'm thinking that a thicker cup wall would be quieter.

We tend to disparage aluminum because it has become so common. When recovering the metal from naturally appearing ores was nearly impossible, and aluminum was traded at a price higher than that of gold, Kings and Emperors were proud to display aluminum plate and cutlery. Many gemstones, after all, consist of aluminum oxide crystals.

What I'd really like to see are cups spun from meteorite metal, or alloys containing meteorite metal, such as one occasionally finds in Tibetan bells or the Javanese keris.

Woland
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 8, 2010 08:52AM)
I think most inexpensive cups are made from aluminum because it is both cheap and easy to work with in the spinning process. I'm guessing here, perhaps a cup spinner can enlighten us. I agree with what you said about them being too thin but I also think they are too soft. Airplanes are made from an alloy that uses mostly aluminum but whatever else they put in there makes them super strong. I suspect that same alloy might be used by Joe Porper for his strong boxes. They are super tough, but maybe it's just because they are thicker. I further suspect that using an airplane type alloy would make the material much more difficult to spin. However, I have an aluminum "found" cup that is super strong and it has a sort of bell shape that makes it able to hold a regulation baseball by friction. It holds it so perfectly that I could actually load it very early if I wanted to. I could absolutely stand on it and there would be no damage at all. I would buy aluminum cups that strong and feel good about it.

Your thought about cups spun from meteorite metal is interesting. I would think meteorites have a high concentration of iron. Are the Tibetan bells spun or cast?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 8, 2010 10:36AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 15:49, dsalley13 wrote:
Oops! I found it. That category is hidden as a sub-category.

WOW!!!! I'd keep them in a safe deposit box if I had them!!! Gloriously beautiful!!! I have my eye on one of his small chop cups. Mr. Rose produces so many fine things. Those are wonderful!!!

I will go crawl back under my cup now......


dsalley13
[/quote]

The easiest way to find these is to look for cups by Five of Hearts Magic Productions. Once you do a search for all of these, the Victory cups will show up. They are actually listed as "The Nelson Cups." I'll change that in the listing so that they are called the HMS Victory Cups. They are also listed on the page of boxed sets. There is a LOT more information about them on that page.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jun 8, 2010 10:44AM)
As long as they are balanced properly, I like heavier cups because they are better at doing what you expect them to do (inertia).

I don't like horrible design flaws:
cups that jam together
cups that are so thin they dent if dropped gently
cups that are so narrow that 3 balls cannot fit underneath on the surface
cups that are so short that they are difficult to handle while holding a ball
cups that are just plain ugly

design flaws I can live with:
saddle cannot hold 3 balls
cups wobble
cups are not exactly the same height
gaping mouth bead
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 8, 2010 01:20PM)
Thank you, Mr. Starsini, I think the right amount of intertia is highly to be desired. I think it would impart a degree of intention and seriousness to the moves.

Meteorites are mostly iron and nickel. The incorporation of meteorite metal into a forging is apparently difficult, and meteorites are rather scarce. Forging a keris is done with iron and nickel, anyway, to create either random or intentional patterns that are akin to Damascus or wootz work. Tibetan bells are cast and not spun. Since meteorite metal is so scarce, the Tibetan bells available today are made of a bronze alloy containing copper, tin, zinc, iron, and sometimes gold & silver. Antimony, bismuth, arsenic, cobalt, and lead may also be present. (I'm not sure I'd want to handle those bells every day . . .)

I don't know enough about metal spinning to know if such alloys would be workable, or it the damascene patterns of iron & nickel would survive the spinning process.
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 8, 2010 04:30PM)
Thanks Woland. It sounds like maybe someone would have to start a thread about what bells not to buy if they're hazardous to your health. Fascinating possibilities though, just to think about cups made from a meteorite. I'm going to have to look for a Tibetan bell now.

I tried to go to Tibet last summer. I spent two months with my wife in her home city of Chongqing. We bought plane tickets to Tibet, but at the airport they wouldn't let me board. Non-Chinese need to get special permission to go there apparently.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jun 9, 2010 03:42AM)
Given the concerns about lead poisoning, is there a quick way to tell whether any cups in one's collection might have lead in them and should therefore be handled with care, if at all?
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 9, 2010 04:35AM)
Fortasse,

In the United States at least, test kits for lead are available on the market. They are inexpensive. I think they are reasonably accurate, most of the negative concerns about using them in the home have to do with inadequate sampling.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 9, 2010 09:17AM)
I don't think there is much danger from handling cups with a bronze alloy that contains a small amount of lead. There is probably about as much danger from those as there is from drinking out of "lead" crystal.

Sometimes environmental groups go out of their way to put blanket bans on things they simply don't understand.

A certain banjo company that I know well was having problems deciding whether to disclose the trace amount of lead in their rather heavily plated tone rings. There is no way the lead can leach into the atmosphere. There is no way that a child can put this into his mouth. So it should be a non-issue.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 9, 2010 10:33AM)
There should be no danger from handling lead at all, unless you bring your hands to your mouth. (That's what children do, which sometimes causes problems, if their hands are coated with lead-paint dust . . .)
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jun 9, 2010 05:58PM)
Woland, Bill : thanks for your responses.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 9, 2010 06:28PM)
There are still lead-based paints available on the open market. They are used for very specialized applications. These are applications in which there is no danger of paint chips coming off or of children putting the object in their mouths, namely signs.
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 10, 2010 05:18PM)
Lead used to be used in pewter as well. Sometime in the not to distant past, it was eliminated as part of the alloy, at least in the US. I'm not aware of any research that found it hazardous, but perhaps such data exists. I wonder if it no longer used in pewter out of an abundance of caution. Lead in the pewter made it oxidize faster so that patina which is so characteristic of items made with it develops pretty quickly. Lead in pewter also makes it heavier. I have some pretty heavy pewter goblets that I have never used for drinking because I suspected lead in the alloy. The only magic cups that I'm aware of that use pewter are from The Burger House of Magic. They are pretty new to the market, so I'm sure they don't contain any lead. However, many "found" cups, such as the Kirk Stieff Jefferson cups I like to use are made from pewter.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jun 10, 2010 06:05PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-07 10:19, Bill Palmer wrote:

It could have been prevented if the fellow had known about watching your props like a hawk and not placing them where people can do that to them.

[/quote]

Sometimes even watching them like a hawk doesn't work. In a backroom session at Teatro Zin Zanni with their house magician Veronin I watched in horror as he inadvertently snapped the top off my $1250.00 Losander Table (he was trying out my version of the add on box). I thought sure I'd score a complimentary set of tickets to the show. but he just shrugged it off and handed me back my topless table.

Fortunately it Gorilla Glued right back up.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 10, 2010 07:35PM)
Remind me not to let him handle anything delicate, such as a three inch ball bearing.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 10, 2010 08:35PM)
I'm sure you know what General Abrams used to say about an anvil . . .
Message: Posted by: houdini (Jun 12, 2010 01:51PM)
I have a set of copper Bazarr de Magia cups and I love the way they feel and coincied with the 7/8 in balls. They look good, feel good and didn't cost me an arm and a leg.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jun 12, 2010 02:54PM)
Speaking of lead and how far we've come in understanding its health dangers, I was just reading a book on Indian Conjuring called "Supplementary Magic" (1917) which, incidentally, has an extensive chapter on Indian Cups & Balls. One of the tricks featured in the book involves the use of balls of lead that are "slipped into the mouth" of the magician and kept there until needed. Definitely not recommended!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 12, 2010 03:51PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-12 14:51, houdini wrote:
I have a set of copper Bazarr de Magia cups and I love the way they feel and coincied with the 7/8 in balls. They look good, feel good and didn't cost me an arm and a leg.
[/quote]

These are not bad cups for the money.
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Jun 12, 2010 08:49PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-12 14:51, houdini wrote:
I have a set of copper Bazarr de Magia cups and I love the way they feel and coincied with the 7/8 in balls. They look good, feel good and didn't cost me an arm and a leg.
[/quote]

Houdini: I think any cups you're happy with are fine. As I said in one of my posts, there are exceptions to the suggestions, even for me. I think the old Adams cups from the 1950's are cool. I have a set for every different color box I could find, and I still buy a set once in awhile. They're cute, they're cheap and they will hold a golf ball. Ninety percent+ of the people reading this thread wouldn't like the cups I use the most because they aren't even magician's cups. I don't own a set of the cups you mentioned, but I looked them up and I think they look fine. You like them and that's all that matters.

fortasse: I like lead in its natural form. Southeast Missouri had/has the nation's largest galena (ore from which lead is smeltered) deposits. It its purest form, the lead forms in near perfect cubes. I have a dozen or so galena specimens with the cubed formations, quartz crystals, and copper pyrite/iron pyrite deposits known as fool's gold. I don't use them for loads in cups and balls, but they're very interesting to see. I do keep them well out of reach of my grandchildren. In southeast Missouri, you can actually find galena outcroppings on the surface, but the huge deposits are underground.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 13, 2010 12:10AM)
Fortasse,

On the frontier, in the XVIIIth century, at least if contemporary accounts are reliable, it was not unusual for hunters to carry a lead ball in the mouth, in order to be ready to load a second shot as quickly as possible. Quite a useful skill when running from hostile forces, too . . .

Those men, not to mention the Indian conjurors you describe, probably didn't expect to live as long as we hope to do. But there is probably very little if any acute toxicity associated with either practice.

As you say, however, definitely not recommended . . . .

Dhouck,

Those tri-color aluminum cups are definitely a good buy, although a bit gaudy to my taste. The advertising copy on the page you linked, reminded me of how magic tricks used to disappoint me as a child:

"Balls jump around in and out of the empty Cups AND MORE:

* APPEAR
* VANISH PENETRATE
* TRANSPOSE ASSEMBLE

Then CHANGE to a larger ball or a lemon etc. "

I would have expected those effects to actually happen, not "merely" to have the tools with which a skilled and practiced performer could make them appear to take place . . .

I think that psychology still affects many of us through our adulthood . . .

Woland
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 13, 2010 02:20AM)
Part of being a magician is learning to handle the inevitable disappointments of seeing what is actually inside the box. Another part is being surprised when the things that are actually inside the box will do the things they are supposed to do.

Being surprised at genuine high quality and excellence is an experience that seldom happens, but when it does happen, it is greatly appreciated.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 13, 2010 08:14AM)
Yes, it's part of growing up. For a scientist, perhaps, the excitement is in understanding how simple something really can be.
Message: Posted by: Matthew Jones (Dec 30, 2010 05:51AM)
Tbh I didn't read the entire thread but I'm just wondering if any of you have seen the Paul Fox Style Copper Cups & Balls that Zeneth Kok Productions came out with back in November and I was wondering if anyone's heard if they're any good? I'm planning on buying them because I have a set of these cups: http://www.penguinmagic.com/product.php?ID=742 the only problem is that those fake lemons can barely even fit into them and makes getting them in and out of the cups insanely hard to do so I was looking for some good cups that coud easily facilitate a large final load like a tennis ball because these one's come with mini tennis balls so a regular sized tennis ball would be a good way to keep true to Dai Vernon's last line which is, "I must use 4 balls." so if anyone has heard anything about those cups let me know because I'd definitely like to buy a set sometime.

Sincerely,

Matthew
Message: Posted by: Chris G. (Dec 30, 2010 10:03AM)
There is a thread about the Zeneth Kok Cups:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=392161&forum=115&25
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 30, 2010 11:44AM)
Zenneth came out with these cups more than a year ago. He used ebay as a test market. The seller's name was Lezlie Cheung.
Message: Posted by: Matthew Jones (Jan 6, 2011 08:04AM)
Well it looks like I'm going to need to spring the money for some of those Paul Fox Chick Cups from RNT 2 if I want something to hold a baseball sized final load, I'm just glad I have big hands, otherwise I'd never be able to hold my final loads in those huge cups, oh and I know I said tennis ball sized cups before but I'd rather use a baseball as a final load now and also a tennis ball and whatever other balls that would fit into the cup, any suggestions? If a big softball can get into them then I'd like to try that out sometime.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 6, 2011 11:16AM)
Five suggestions --

1) When you are looking at a thread about a specific subject, read the whole thread. I know it says "Magicians Helping Magicians" here, but at least read what is laid out for you.

2) Use the search function. Limit your search to the Ever so Sleightly section. Then if you don't find anything, try Secret Sessions and Tricks and Effects.

3) Avoid run-on sentences because if you write a very long sentence that really needs to be broken up into smaller sections it becomes very difficult to parse what you have written and make any sense of it especially if you have statments about this size ball, that size ball, and whatever other balls there are, any questions?

4) There are two different sizes of softballs. Not many cups currently available will handle them. There are also four different sizes of baseball. An 8.5" circumference baseball will fit into a cup that will handle a tennis ball. Check Dick's Sports to find them. Sometimes, RnT II has them as well.

5) Check out the cups and balls museum.
Message: Posted by: VE Day (Jan 16, 2011 07:38PM)
When I was a youngster and still at school I learnt how to do the Cups And Balls. It took me quite a while to master the slights and learn the whole routine that I'd found in a very useful text book that I still have today. Anyway when I had learnt the whole thing and it was ready for performance I showed everybody I knew at various opportunities only for them all to turn their noses up and say "Well the cups are obviously rigged". I insisted they weren't rigged and gave them out for examination only for them to insist they could see some sort of trap door in the top of the cups, a trap door that was never there but they insisted that the set of magicians cups I was using clearly had trap doors.

Now I'm a big girl I don't use sets of magicians cups at all I use normal ceramic tea mugs I bought from Tescos. Obviously they are weighted all wrong, are a bit heavy and don't really stack so well but I think there is a great advantage in using normal looking stuff that all the folks recognise as normal stuff and use themselves in their own homes.

Anyway I was watching some clips on YouTube a while back and noticed that Lance Burton was also using very similar Tea Mugs during a Cups And Balls Routine that he was doing in a show in Las Vegas in America. Do you think he had a similar schooling to me?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 16, 2011 08:08PM)
Could be. The idea that magicians' cups are gimmicked is, of course, not unheard of. However, it usually becomes vocalized more if the magician worries about it. Audiences pick up on any lack of confidence a magician might have and they turn it against the performer. I've mentioned this in the Secret Sessions (which you will be able to locate and access once you have 50 posts), in conjunction with something I use quite a bit. There is a coin routine in which a normal US penny changes into one that is as large as silver dollar. I used to get busted because the big penny had a different date from the small one. The more I worried about it, the more often I got caught. So I obtained a roll of pennies with the same date. This roll lasted me a couple of years. By the time I had run out of 1965 pennies, I had overcome the lack of confidence that had attracted the audiences attention. Basically, I didn't care what the audience thought about the pennies, because I was more concerned with making the work entertaining.

However, the use of teacups in the cups and balls is much more common than you might think. There was a fellow named Dr. Bell who was a rather popular dinner guest at Victorian dinner parties. He used the hostess's teacups for the trick.

If you knew the late Bob Read, you know that he normally borrowed everything he used when he performed the cups and balls at a function.

In fact, the routine that Vernon published in the Stars of Magic was performed with drinking glasses wrapped in newspaper. Teacups would have worked just as well.

It could be that Lance was caught by someone when he was in his formative years. Or it could be that he simply didn't want to use a set of "magician's cups." Some of our specialized cups look remarkably like punch cups -- such as the Sherwoods.

So, it's all a matter of personal taste.

A visit to the cups and balls museum would provide you with some insight into the various sets of "found" cups that people have used from time to time.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 16, 2011 08:45PM)
I just visited the Tesco web site and noticed that there are some really interesting cups there. The "Everyday" cups would probably stack pretty well, if you needed that for your routine. They remind be a bit of some of the mugs Starbucks sold for a while here.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Jan 16, 2011 08:45PM)
As a matter of interest, what's the origin of the term "found" cups in the C&B context?

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 16, 2011 10:34PM)
It's based upon Marcel Duchamp's concept of found art, without the context of "trash" art. I think I may be the first person to apply it to cups.