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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Best cups for medieval event? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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poesjenel
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Antwerp, Belgium
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Next summer I want to perform the Cups and Ball's during a medieval market in Sweden. What is the best set for such an event. I momentarily use a brass set from Bazar de magia. To shiny and to small! Are the Bosco cups from Harries a good solution?

I am also looking for medieval, drawings, reproductions etc that illustrate the fact of the C&B being performed during the medieval ages.
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations poesjenel,

Bill Palmer should be along sooner or later when he sees your post and will be able to give you something definitive. Until then, I'm thinking resources for showing medieval cups workers will be a little thin. If I recall correctly, the first drawings or paintings that I have seen were done in the mid-1500s, although a gentleman by the name of Bob Read would be the one to find for the correct answer -- as I understand it he has a large or the largest private collection of cups-and-balls worker art. I believe Harries' Bosco cups are going to give you the closest period look. I have a set and they haven't tarnished yet, which is fine by me as I don't use them all that often, but I suspect they have some type of sealer on them to prevent or slow oxidation. To get them to tarnish up you'll have to remove the finish. Again, Bill will be able to give you the most complete answer. Hope this helps in the interim.

Good luck, sounds like fun!

Joe in KC
Payne
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Harries Bosco Cups are the cups I use in my mediaeval show as they have that traditional "flower pot" shape. Occasionally you can find a vintage set of cups that have this classic shape as well on E-Bay. Just keep your eyes open.
I know of no pictorial references to cups being played in the middle ages however there are several excellent illustrations from the fifteenth century onward. Kurt Volkmann's treatise "The Oldest Deception" is a good source, if you can find a copy
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Bill Palmer
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Go to the cups and balls museum. The URL is in my signature line. There is a page with "Cups in Art." That will help you.

Now, as far as the details of what would be authentic are concerned. The shoulder bead did not appear on cups until roughly 1700. The first illustration that I have seen (from Bob Read's collection) that has a shoulder bead would be 1710.

If you can find three large brass cups -- any kind -- that will nest and give you a gap of about 1.5 to 2 cm, then you will have something that is close to authentic. You will need to put a recess in the bottom. You can do that with a block of wood that has a concavity in it and a ball pein hammer.

It's not easy. I'm well convinced that most c & b workers either made their own cups or had them made by tinsmiths.

If total authenticity is not necessary, go with the Harries Bosco cups. They are reasonably priced and should work just fine. They are a little thinner than, say, the Gazzo's, but for what you are doing they should be fine.

Or you can go to http://www.freerszauberladen.de/ which is Freers Zauberladen. Do a search for "Becherspiel." There is a set of Gauklerbecher that look roughly medieval. They are not extremely large. Most c &b workers of those days did not use huge cups. At least, that is what the drawings indicate.

What is the actual timespan of the venue you are working?
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
poesjenel
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Thank you all for your kind reactions. Very usefull! I think for now I'll order a set of Bosco cups and take off the protective sealer so they oxydise more quickly. I have some experience with brass, made keys in brass for a classic clarinette. So I am a bit familiar with forming brass, annealing and hardening, hammering, soldering...I think I could make a set without shoulders in copper but I wonder how you work with these because once they are stacked there is no space for the balls, unless you let the balls make the space but then the cups are kind of wobbling on each other or do I see that wrong? I wondered about that to when I saw the leather cups in the cupsandballsmuseum ( waaw what a fantastic site and source of information! ).
Bill, I'm not completely shure what you mean when you ask what the timespan is. English is not my native language. I suppose you are asking for the period the event is covering. Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway I will be performing on a medieval festival, all people dress medieval, the market stands have to be carefull not to show or use any non-medieval materials, like plastic. Authenticity is important but only that way that I could not perform any magic that was not performed in the ( late ) middle ages. So C&B are ok. Does anyone have an emailaddress of Bob Read?
Jaz
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Payne's mentions, "traditional "flower pot" shape."
There are small clay and wooden flower pots that you could use.
These are timeless.
Bill Palmer
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By timespan, I mean the year or years that the festival is supposed to be taking place in. For example is the hypothetical year of the festival a specific year, such as 1574, or is it a longer time span, such as "the 17th Century" or "the Renaissance?"

Different criteria could be applied to each of these.

You are right about cups without a shoulder bead having a problem with nesting and unnesting. That's precisely why the shoulder bead came about. 1700 would be the approximate time that occurred. It doesn't appear in any engravings or paintings before then.

But I really wouldn't worry about it. Just get the Bosco cups, and you will be fine.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
poesjenel
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No particular century. Actually the complete middle ages. Just ordered the Bosco cups but I'll have a look in our local garden set for the flowerpots too. Thanks again for all the tips.
Jaz
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Poesjenel,
I found the wooden flower pots in a craft store.
Partizan
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The nesting can be resolved by using a slightly belled taper from base to neck, with a simple bit of maths you can govern the amount of space to be left for the ball.

For your artwork I suggest scanning or obtaining a picture of medieval folk working tools and then use photoshop to adjust the image into what your require. You might try to find a pic of a glass blower and modify the tools/glass into cups and balls!
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
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Bill Palmer
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If you want the cups and balls section of Hocus Pocus, Jr., transcribed into modern type, you can download it from http://www.hocuspocusjr.com/hocuspocusmced.pdf .

There are numerous drawings of cups in the section I worked on.

You will need to PM me for a password.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Tom Frank
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Cups, Cups "King of the Cups"

Cup Pic
poesjenel
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Is that Gazzo's own private collection?
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2005-10-08 23:15, Tom Frank wrote:
Cups, Cups "King of the Cups"

Cup Pic



How does he get that one to stay balanced on the top of his head?
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Tom Frank
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He's Gazzo! He's good.

Looking forward to hearing more about his Master Class here in Seattle.

Meanwhile I will watch a couple hours of football on TV before hitting the streets at Pike Place Market.

Posted: Oct 9, 2005 1:07pm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rams just took the opening kickoff down the field for a touch down. 99 yards in 20 seconds. Might be a long day for the Sea Hawks. Knew I should have signed up for Gazzo's class.
poesjenel
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The Harries Bosco cups just arrived and they look great and big! Just what I wanted to perform on the streets during the medieval festival. They look much to shiny but I'll expose them constantly to air and light to see of they oxidise quickly. I wonder of other methods to make them look older because they really look to neat. I also did a search on the net for some info on making leather balls. These would have a more medieval look than the red crocheted balls. Lots of information with sewing instructions and pattern intended to be used by jugglers but very usefull for my purpose!
Whit Haydn
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You can also buy rolled felt, and sewn or monkeyfist leather balls. These are available from several great places.

Air and light will not create a patina on the cups. The moisture from your hands does it. It is handling a lot that speeds the process.

If they have a lacquer coating, you will need to remove it with paint thinner.
Dave V
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Do a Café search for aging your cups. It's been discussed more than once before, including the compounds necessary to accelerate the process. Look at my website in the photo section for the results of artificial aging. Oh, there's some stuff there about leather balls too.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Payne
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These cups are coated with lacquer I believe as I have had mine for several years and they are as shiny as they were the day I got them. You'll need to remove the coating with a solvent to get the patina process started.
I use rolled felt balls with my cups tough I've been thinking of going to nutmegs.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Bill Palmer
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Removing lacquer from these cups may be a bit difficult. Find a fairly strong paint remover -- not a thinner -- and work on one cup. If the finish is ordinary lacquer, it should come off. If it is epoxy, then it is there to stay.

There are various chemicals that can be used to age the copper, but I would just let it happen naturally. On the whole, it looks better that way.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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