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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Which came first - the Three shell game or the Cups & Balls trick? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Lawrence O
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Clay's seriousness cannot be argued but Alciphron text, the oldest one that we know about the cups and balls, raises questions about the anteriority of the three shell game (or gambling scams) over the Cups and Balls. Seneca's description of the "acetabulari" may comfort such an analysis. Now if we read the Greek mythology, we find several myths where gambling and cheating is narrated as being done with "bones" and that the bones that Pete Biro refers to were actually dice. There is no known mythological or poetic report of gambling scams with anything looking remotely like the cups and balls let alone nutshells. So I'm respectfully questioning the statements about the anteriority of the three shell game over the cups and balls played as a game of skill for entertainment purpose.
This being said I do not argue about the fact that the cups and balls were used in public places to attract people under a pretense (teeth pulling...) and for accomplices to cut off the strings of by standers' purses as in the Hyeronymus Bosch's painting... which by the way conceals all kinds of kabbalistic signs but does not relate to the three shell game either. In Peter Bruegel “The fall of the magician” (1564) there are three balls on the table and not one as could be expected for a scam along the three shelll game where people are supposed to think where the "pea" is concealed.
This being said, this is an hypothesis as well and based chiefly on the above comments
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Which came first - the Three shell game or the Cups & Balls trick? (0 Likes)
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