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Topic: Please help me identify these cups!
Message: Posted by: Houdini1911 (Oct 23, 2013 05:31PM)
Hi everyone,

I have been lurking on here for several years off & on, but never joined. I was hoping you might be ale to help me with something. Over 20+ years ago, I was given a set of cups from a magic shop I use to frequent at a young age. I was told they were very rare & collectable. I have had them on display ever since.

They do not have a hallmark or any stampings on them. I was considering selling them but I do not know enough about them to set a price.

Someone once told me they may be phoenix cups, but I am just speculating.

I would greatly appreciate any help you could offer.

I am tryong to upload an image, but not sure how to & it's driving me crazy! Can someone help me post the images?

Thank you in advance.

HH
Message: Posted by: Houdini1911 (Oct 23, 2013 06:28PM)
Let's try it this way! Click on link:

http://s249.photobucket.com/user/Houdini1901/media/_K4G0546-1.jpg.html?filters[user]=66462761&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0
Message: Posted by: Leo H (Oct 23, 2013 06:36PM)
Yeah--those look like the Tom Frank Phoenix cups. Not rare or difficult to find. Good job getting the picture up.
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Oct 23, 2013 07:14PM)
If you have had them that long then they are probably the Charlie Miller Cups made by Magic Inc. They would have been in your local magic shop. I bought a set about 20 years ago from Ted Carrothers in Toledo.
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Oct 23, 2013 09:05PM)
They look like Charlie Miller Cups to me too. The time sounds right also.
You can tell by the area between the mouth of the cup and the ring. They are based on the Ross Bertram Cups. I would ask Bill to be sure.
They look like they are in great shape.
Message: Posted by: Houdini1911 (Oct 23, 2013 09:26PM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-23 22:05, Mobius303 wrote:
They look like Charlie Miller Cups to me too. The time sounds right also.
You can tell by the area between the mouth of the cup and the ring. They are based on the Ross Bertram Cups. I would ask Bill to be sure.
They look like they are in great shape.
[/quote]

Thanks. Can I ask who is Bill & how do I get a hold of him? Also, any idea on the value?

Thanks again.

HH
Message: Posted by: shellgame-al (Oct 23, 2013 09:43PM)
They look new!
Message: Posted by: Houdini1911 (Oct 23, 2013 09:49PM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-23 22:43, shellgame-al wrote:
They look new!
[/quote]

I just did a light polish, they clean up great. So how can I tell if these are Charlie Miller cups or actual Ross Bertram cups? OR am I just dreaming? If they are "only" Charlie Miller cups, any idea on value?
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Oct 23, 2013 11:19PM)
Bill is Bill Palmer - he's a member here and is our resident cups expert, as well as the curator of the online cups and balls museum.
Message: Posted by: Houdini1911 (Oct 23, 2013 11:55PM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-24 00:19, Andrew Zuber wrote:
Bill is Bill Palmer - he's a member here and is our resident cups expert, as well as the curator of the online cups and balls museum.
[/quote]

Well, He sounds like the person I need to talk too! Any chance you have his contact info? Thank you very much.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Oct 24, 2013 05:40AM)
Go to the "Search"function at the top of the page. Type in user name "Bill Palmer" and select "Boxes, Tubes, and Bags" as the forum (it is one I know he has posted in). When it comes up you can click on his name and it will take you to his profile. You can either PM him directly from there or click on his email address and email him.

Or click on his profile page here:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/bb_profile.php?mode=view&user=4412
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Oct 24, 2013 09:00AM)
But... Bill doesn't accept PMs at the Café.

No matter. You have Charlie Miller Cups. I can tell by the lines around the shoulder beads where the shoulder beads were pressed in, the spin lines, and the wide gap around the mouth bead. They are identical to the set I own.
Their value fluctuates depending upon a lot of variables - economic mostly. They have sold for $125 - $350.
I still have my set. If I was going to put them up for sale, I would ask $300. Weirdly there are a lot of fans of these cups, even though they are far from being an efficient design.

I think I paid about $35 for them 20 years ago. They came in a plastic bag, with an instruction sheet from Magic, Inc. which called them "The Charlie Miller Cups, A man's cup" - because at the time they were considered a heavier weight cup - which is not true by today's standards. The design was based upon the Ross Bertram Cups, but didn't get it right. As I recall, Charlie Miller distanced himself from these cup sets, but his name stuck to them. I don't know the full story and my memory is unreliable. :)
If they were actual Ross Bertram Cups, you would know it, because they were collectible 20 years ago (Ross was born in 1912). Look at the photo of a Bertram Cup in silver here:
http://rossbertram.magicana.com/rossbertram/Master_Craftsman.html
As you can see, it's not the same. The shoulder beads are not just rolled in, they are cut in. The mouth bead has no gap and the radius from the side wall to the saddle appears to be smoother.
You have Charlie Miller Cups.
Message: Posted by: Houdini1911 (Oct 24, 2013 12:43PM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-24 10:00, Donnie Buckley wrote:
But... Bill doesn't accept PMs at the Café.

No matter. You have Charlie Miller Cups. I can tell by the lines around the shoulder beads where the shoulder beads were pressed in, the spin lines, and the wide gap around the mouth bead. They are identical to the set I own.
Their value fluctuates depending upon a lot of variables - economic mostly. They have sold for $125 - $350.
I still have my set. If I was going to put them up for sale, I would ask $300. Weirdly there are a lot of fans of these cups, even though they are far from being an efficient design.

I think I paid about $35 for them 20 years ago. They came in a plastic bag, with an instruction sheet from Magic, Inc. which called them "The Charlie Miller Cups, A man's cup" - because at the time they were considered a heavier weight cup - which is not true by today's standards. The design was based upon the Ross Bertram Cups, but didn't get it right. As I recall, Charlie Miller distanced himself from these cup sets, but his name stuck to them. I don't know the full story and my memory is unreliable. :)
If they were actual Ross Bertram Cups, you would know it, because they were collectible 20 years ago (Ross was born in 1912). Look at the photo of a Bertram Cup in silver here:
http://rossbertram.magicana.com/rossbertram/Master_Craftsman.html
As you can see, it's not the same. The shoulder beads are not just rolled in, they are cut in. The mouth bead has no gap and the radius from the side wall to the saddle appears to be smoother.
You have Charlie Miller Cups.
[/quote]

Thank you for the time to write all that out. I guess I have Charlie Miller cups! Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (Oct 30, 2014 05:23PM)
I agree with Donnie....those are Charlie Miller cups, not Phoenix Cups nor Ross Bertram cups......

I bought my set at Magic, Inc. about 25 or so years ago when Bruce Bernstein saw me walking in the front door and said to me "I found something in the back you might like" then came out front with them. I think I paid $40 for them.

My best advice is to hold on to them....."they ain't making 'em any more"....they are good, solid, heavy-duty worker's cups....BUT, if you need to sell them, Donnie's price seems right to me.......Personally, I would NOT accept less than $300.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2014 12:55AM)
I don't accept PM's at the Café, but with a little bit of detective work, such as looking at my profile, you can find my e-mail address and sent me an e-mail.

Donnie is right. These are Charlie Miller cups. Ross Bertram cups normally have the initials RB stamped inside them at the bottom of the cup. There are other very obvious differences as well. They aren't really rare. Normal price for these is about $150 for "road warriors" to about $250 for pristine "mint" cups. That means without signs of having been polished.

OOPS!!!

Before anyone says I'm trying to get the price lowered on these for some nefarious purpose -- I'm not interested in them. I already have four sets, including one that was chrome plated after market.

They came out about 50 years ago. The depth of the roller marks and the gap in the rolled rim puts the manufacturing date at roughly 25 - 30 years ago. I've seen very subtle variations in these cups.

If you want to see the whole collection go to the cups and balls museum. Look at my signature block for the URL. Follow the instructions on the home page, and you can get a username and password.

It's free.
Message: Posted by: Tom G (Nov 2, 2014 08:18AM)
I think I remember paying $40 for my set of CM cups. They had just found a box of them or some story. When I ordered I was told they hadn't been
polished after being turned. Boy, it took hours of polishing them to get the black off.
Message: Posted by: guitarmagic (Nov 9, 2014 04:58PM)
It's THE GREATEST to see you here Bill Palmer. Sending an immense, heart-felt, venerable thanks to you for the superb works you've given your students, peers and audiences along the way.