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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Nothing up my sleeve... » » The origin of The Miser’s Dream (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

spcarlson
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The origin of The Miser’s Dream

I’ve been digging around looking for additional history on the effect of coin catching or The Miser’s Dream, as we all know it. It seems the first reference to it in print comes from Robert Houdin though I’m guessing it was around much earlier than that.

Does anyone have any additional historical information on this classic coin effect?

Thanks,
Steve
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Jonathan Townsend
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? as who knows/does it? Some variation on Al Flosso's routine?
Vernon's Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver?

Have a look on Scot - I suspect there's mention of the basic coin produce and feint even there.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
spcarlson
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Thanks for your thoughts Jonathan. I’m thinking of pre Houdin history trying to see how far back this effect can be traced.

The material in Reginald Scott’s, The Discoverie of Witchcraft certainly has the potential for such a routine but a specific effect of this nature is not referred to. As I mentioned I am sure the coin catching effect was around well before Houdin but like many things they were either not recorded or did not survive.

As one author pointed out Houdin, in his writing, did not claim originality to the money catching effect, which was the prelude to his “Shower of Money”. Which probably indicated the effect already existed.
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Lawrence O
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I'd be surprised if it started with Robert-Houdin. This is quite an old dream that magic could supply wealth without work or acquired talent or knowledge. Actually, magicians got burned for centuries owing the church's belief that magicians could do it by selling their soul to the devil: ever heard of Faustus. Hence it would be surprising if Robert Houdin had been the first at it as a complete routine, but... will search.

Common sense indicates however that the traditional doom is more metaphoric than real: if money doesn't buy happiness, what it buys looks so close...!
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
spcarlson
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Thank you Lawrence O:

Yes, a dream older than the coin itself. Money may not buy happiness... But it sure makes misery easier to live with. ;o)

I am sure it didn’t take very long after the invention of the coin and there was someone pretending to make them vanish, appear and multiply. It’s a great prop!


Here’s a Greek drachma of Aegina, the oldest turtle coin dates 700 BC

Click here to view attached image.
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PetePennekett
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My understanding was that the name 'The Miser's Dream' was given to the routine by T Nelson Downs, however I suspect that routine has existed in one form or another since shortly after coins became widely circulated. If I'm correct in that assumption (Guess) then I'd suggest the best place to look for references would be in very old Indian, Turkish or Chinese texts (Depending on which school of numismatics you subscribe to) but since we're talking 550 years BC at the absolute minimum it might be hard to trace it that far back!

~ Pete.
Doc Eason
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Contact Levent
and for goodness sake check out
leventmagic.com

His 3 volume dvd production of the Ultimate Guide to the Miser's Dream is unbelievable. Levent is the real deal.. incredibly thorough, this scholarly dissertation will be all you need to further your studies.

He covers some history .. not necessarily the ancient stuff but this set talks about RobertHoudin's routine..he actually performs it for you..

Add Chris Capehart's dvd to this collection and if you have everything a person would need to put a routine together.

IMHO

Doc
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spcarlson
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Hello Doc:

You honor me with your response! Yes, I have my very own copy of Levent’s exceptional DVD I’ve watched it a number of times in fact that is what has inspired me to look further into the effect’s historical background. As far as currently known documentation it stops at Houdin.

I have a routine I’ve performed for 30 some years, in this post I was just interested to find if other Café members might have some bits of information on the historical origin of coin catching or The Miser’s Dream as it was called by Downs.

The Conjuring Arts Research Center would be a great resource however it does require a membership for its use.

Thanks again everyone for responding!
Steve
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KirkG
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I think the concept of a miser and the midas touch may go back further.
Jonathan Townsend
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There's a funny bit in Time Bandits which indirectly suggest that using a second goblet or an assistant to make the sounds might be a very old idea.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dynamike
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I agree with Doc above. But an additional one I would suggest is Jeff McBrides Coin magic DVD. The volume that focuses on the Miser's Dream.
atinczor
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I have the 3 Volume DVD set of Levent's "Ultimate Guide to Miser's Dream" and it covers all the history behind the effect.. It is a very good instructional DVD and Levent is a great teacher.. This DVD is all you need about the Miser's Dream.. Listen to Doc..
Check it out..
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