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Bapu
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THIS SET OF THREE CUPS (follow link) just sold on the big auction site for $192.50. They were advertised as "Indian Cups & Balls, Copper, Magic Trick". I believe that they are from India or thereabouts, but I am not convinced that they were made with the cups and balls trick in mind. I do not doubt that they could be used for that purpose, but to me, they just look like three copper pedestal cups, possibly puja offering vessels. These cups do not resemble the few Indian "cups and balls" cups I've seen online and in old as well as contemporary photos. What do the more learned among you think?
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
Bill Palmer
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They could be offering vessels or they could be candle holders.
"The Swatter"

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djkuttdecks
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Historically speaking, The indian cups and balls never used "cups" specifically designed for the trick, more so they used elephant bells with the pendulum removed or other small bowls similar to these. Personally I don't think any indian set should sell for 200 bucks unless they belonged to someone important or where specifically designed by a higher standard manufacturer. I'm sure Bill or Pete could add a bit more than I have said, its just my understanding of the subject thus far.

-Lee
Bapu
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Quote:
On 2011-03-30 13:37, Bill Palmer wrote:
They could be offering vessels or they could be candle holders.

Exactly. Fire being one of the typical offerings, along with water, incense, food.

Quote:
On 2011-03-30 14:19, djkuttdecks wrote:
Historically speaking, The indian cups and balls never used "cups" specifically designed for the trick, more so they used elephant bells with the pendulum removed or other small bowls similar to these.

-Lee

Good point. These cups are "cups", that is, vessels designed to sit with the mouth up. The Indian cups and balls "cups" that I have seen are not "cups" at all, but rather are designed to be oriented mouth down...like the bells you mention.

I guess that the reason I bring all this up is because of the final sale price. I get the impression that the bids reflect the impression that the items in question are hard to find ethnic magic props. My best guess is that they are indeed "ethnic", but are not magic props.
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
lint
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That set had me scratching my head as well. Looks like a set of cups I could pick up at any number of indian import shops near me for under $20.
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
dcjames
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Quote:
On 2011-03-30 16:06, lint wrote:
That set had me scratching my head as well. Looks like a set of cups I could pick up at any number of indian import shops near me for under $20.


Exactly!
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

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Bill Palmer
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There have been a couple of experts in the Indian cups and balls routine who visited the forum for a while who have made statements disagreeing with the "elephant bell" theory. I think the elephant bell theory was proposed and promoted by Charlie Miller.
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Gary Kosnitzky
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These cups are not Indian Cups. They are Temple Offering Bowls.
Since the Indian Cups and Balls have languished in obscurity, you can only have 'REAL' sets custom made.
All these Offering Bowls ,egg cups, tiny curtain rod ends and elephant bells are all pure nonsense and are truly worthless.
None, not one routine was ever published that explains the REAL INDIAN CUPS AND BALLS aka CHEPPUM PANTHUM.
This version is the most difficult to perform and is also the most secretive.
I have spent the last 5 years of my life learning Cheppum Panthum, I speak from knowledge and experience.

P.S. I have not forgotten your Brass and Coconut cups Bill. I am still waiting myself.
Rediscover a lost art.

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Pete Biro
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I think I have maybe six sets of these left and will sell for $45.00 including shipping in USA.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
djkuttdecks
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Quote:
On 2011-03-30 18:51, Bill Palmer wrote:
There have been a couple of experts in the Indian cups and balls routine who visited the forum for a while who have made statements disagreeing with the "elephant bell" theory. I think the elephant bell theory was proposed and promoted by Charlie Miller.


The bell theory isn't really a theory. I met an indian man once, years ago, who performed the indian cups... he used elephant bells with the dinger removed. I didn't even know Charlie Miller made that statement.

-Lee
lint
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Gary, perhaps you could post a picture of a "real" set?
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2011-03-30 22:33, djkuttdecks wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-03-30 18:51, Bill Palmer wrote:
There have been a couple of experts in the Indian cups and balls routine who visited the forum for a while who have made statements disagreeing with the "elephant bell" theory. I think the elephant bell theory was proposed and promoted by Charlie Miller.

The bell theory isn't really a theory. I met an indian man once, years ago, who performed the indian cups... he used elephant bells with the dinger removed. I didn't even know Charlie Miller made that statement.

-Lee

He gave the whole process out in the October and November 1968 issues of Genii magazine.

I think it would be appropriate here to mention that the fellow who sold these cups on eBay did not present them as any particular KIND or TYPE of Indian Cups. His description tells more about the man who sold them than it does about the cups, themselves.

Those of us who bid on the cups were the ones who set the price.

Note where the proceeds for this are going.

Quote:
The sales from all my auctions will go for helping people suffering with Cancer.

There is more to this fellow than meets the eye.

We should make sure that when we are discussing the type of cups these are that we do not besmirch the seller's reputation or intentions in any way.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Bapu
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Bill makes several good point here. (No surprise there!)

Consider this...

1) The cups were listed under "Collectibles > Fantasy, Mythical & Magic > Magic > Tricks".
2) The listing bears the title "Indian Cups & Balls, Copper, Magic Trick".

What would a reasonable potential bidder imply from these two facts so far? Hmmmm...

However, a close reading of the item description reveals that the seller only makes two statements about the cups themselves:

1) "This is a beautiful set."
2) "The cups are 1 1/2" tall and the mouth opening 2 1/4"."

No assertion here as to the nature or original purpose of the cups. The rest of the description merely describes to what purpose the seller himself put the cups.

Reading more into it is, well, reading more into it!

We believe what we want to believe do we not? (Ever heard that before?)

My personal take on this is that there was no intent to deceive whatsoever by the seller.

The description of how he has used the cups shows the seller to be an inventive fellow who can make magic from "found" objects. Something his wife probably knows well since it was she who gave him the cups as a gift. I bet her thoughts were along the line of "These are cute, I wonder what he can use these for?"

The other big indicators of intent here, in my opinion, are the initial price of ninety-nine cents set by the seller and his statement "...you'll set the market value." Clearly he neither thought, nor asserted, that the cups were rare or of unusual value.

Perhaps the seven bidders thought otherwise.

Lastly, as Bill pointed out, the proceeds of the sale "will go for helping people suffering with Cancer". With a capital "C". Not just any disease, but the big "C". Why cancer? Clearly, the seller's life has been touched in some way by cancer, and to the degree that it motivates his actions.

In the description the seller goes on to mention how he used the cups while in the hospital. I would like to know more about this. Was the seller a patient? It sounds like it. Was he a cancer patient? Perhaps. Who did he perform for...other patients, the staff, visitors? My guess is, all of the above.

He used them in his restaurant too. To me all of this paints a picture of man who enjoys entertaining others, of making others happy. A man whose thoughts are not directed inward, but outward. Am I also reading too much into all of this? Perhaps. It is certainly what I would like to believe. Nay, it is what I do believe.

Are the cups "Indian Cups and Balls"? I doubt it.

Are they magic? Of course not.

Are they rare and wonderful?

Considering the source, and how he apparently put them to use, you bet they are!

Congratulations to the lucky winner, you have something special.

Do honor to the seller and his cause...make some great magic, and pass it along.

To the seller, whoever you are, may your life go well.

You are a real magician.
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
Bill Palmer
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"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Bapu
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The topic of Indian Cups and Balls is an interesting one, but let us let this thread end here now.
Peace and blessings to all.
Bapu practices law and conjuring in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
maharajademagia
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Quote:
On 2011-03-30 14:19, djkuttdecks wrote:
Historically speaking, The indian cups and balls never used "cups" specifically designed for the trick, more so they used elephant bells with the pendulum removed or other small bowls similar to these. Personally I don't think any indian set should sell for 200 bucks unless they belonged to someone important or where specifically designed by a higher standard manufacturer. I'm sure Bill or Pete could add a bit more than I have said, its just my understanding of the subject thus far.

-Lee


Lee, it is obvious that you know very little about the Hindu Cups and Ball. When this, "mother of all tricks" started off thousand of years ago, the most natural medium was fruit shells. And coconut shell were hard enough and easily available. For your information coconuts are used as an offerings to the God in all religious ceremonies in India. These did not have handles on the top in the beginning so jute ropes were tied on the top to pick them up. These were later tied in a knot for a better list and finally replaced with a knob as you have on top of a Temple Shikhara to give it a more sacred look. Later turned wood cups with a knob on the top were use. And even metal brass cups were also used. What you are seeing is the the videos posted on you tube of economically poor street magicians called jadoowalas by the British and Madari by the Indians in general. Elephant bells were used, as an alternative as it was easier to make the cups from them and nut turn them.

Traditionally if bowls were use they were the lotas but plam load is difficult to feed with this medium. Bowls later influenced the Chinese and they used the rice bowls.

You are so mistaken about Indian Cups and Balls not selling for USD 200. I am ready to pay more for some Hindu Cups and being an Indian I am not loaded. Ask Bill he has some of the best Indian Cups how much they are worth. I have seen a set of Ivory Cups and Balls which the owner was not ready to part with even for USD 1000 and off course now he cannot sell it as there is a ban on selling Ivory in India.

The design of the Hindu Cups has evolved over the years through trial and error and that is the best kind of design as it has survived for ages.

Earlier Pete had some Tibetan Butter Bowls which he was selling, but I think that is over now. Pete correct me if I am wrong. Now Gary Kosnitzky has revived through his partner in India the original Coconut Wood Cups and Balls made in India under supervising eyes of classical trained master. I got a set from him and I am more than pleased. So I am recommending it to all. I think Bill should have one of these in his museum. Lee if you are serious about this there is a lot of information on this forum but please don't say that, "Hindu Cups and Balls" did not have cups specially designed for the trick. This is not correct at all.
Dr_J_Ayala
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I have a few different sets of found cups that work perfectly for the Cheppum Panthum - my favorite found sets are Tibetan Butter Bowls made of brass, which I bought in Tibet, and footed Temple Offering Bowls that I found in Siberia. As far as a manufactured set is concerned, I really like my Viking set.

As the auction has long since ended, as of this posting, the photo of the cups from the link in the first post is no longer available.
francisngkl
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Here is one set, in different colour though, original is red

Image


Francis
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BCS
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Francis... You are the Indiana Jones of Cups... it would not surprise me if we see that you have found the Holy Grail one day... LOL.

Bruce
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Hi Bruce,

LOL, I am just helping up a bit, with Bill kind of busy... So happen that I know the seller too, a generous magician with a BIG heart, one of the best people I know. BTW, these cups are available in eBay shop.

Francis
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