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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Marconic's Prisoner Silk (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Hegbli
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I just receive Marconic's Prisoner Silk today in the mail from http://www.magicgoods.com/products/prisoner-silk.php . As I remember this was not available in the United States back in the 1960's. It was sold by Harry Stanley International Magic Studio in Londen, England. I never sent for it, but now I have, and I will say, I missed out on a very VISUAL silk magic trick. I like visual magic, and there are not many visual tricks, where one gets to see the magic happen visually.

What you get is 3 silks, red, white, and blue and a large supply of the gimmick that makes it visual. The silks are surprisingly very nice quality for a product from India. The colors are bright as well.

Set-up is minimum, only have to roll one silk and tie one knot, the other is tied while performing the trick. It works 100%, and there are so many possibilities with this for a visual 20th Century Silk effect. It can be done just by the performer, but if you have an assistant, WOW! could this be a killer transposition effect as well.

Yes, it does not have to be presented as an opening effect, once you set it, you are ready to show it at any time during your act. There is much that can be added to this effect as well. You can produce one of the silks magically, if you desire, as a lead in for from another trick, as the silk is totally unprepared.

You can remove one from your pocket, and show the 3rd, or as I will be doing, tuck it between my shirt buttons, you can also place the appearing silk in a "special pocket" or your breast pocket. So many possibilities.

Use the Silk Vanishing Wand or your favorite silk vanish, you would have to supply the extra silk, but it is worth it. As it comes it is more of an appearing silk between 2 silks or jumping silk to in between 2 silks. Whichever way you do it is worth the $14.99 plus $5 postage.

For those that will ask, no this is not a close-up trick, and no all the silks cannot be handed out for examination before or after the trick.

The visual impact far out weights everything else. I highly recommend this trick for all who really want to present a real magic trick.

Posted: Jun 25, 2012 4:30pm
This is an excellent lead-in trick to the American Flag Blendo, a red, white, and blue silk transform into a United States Flag.

http://themagicwarehouse.com/cgi-bin/fin......d=BLENDO

Here is a tip, the silks come neatly folded, I suggest you iron the silks to remove the fold creases, then store the silks on a rolled paper tube. This will keep the silks nice and give them the ability to fall naturally.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
hugmagic
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I will have to check when I am in the shop but is this in his book?

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Bill Hegbli
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Richard, it is in Rice Encyclopedia, page 478, it is not in the hard bound Marconic Book (large format with additional languages), and I no longer have the Supreme Marconic Silk Magic Book (hard bound), smaller format, so I cannot check if it is in there.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Bill Hegbli
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This effect Prisoner Silk would be a good lead in trick for the Mis-Made Flag trick as well. Maybe a simple vanishing knots trick using the change bag that will be used for the Mis-Made Flag trick.

Oh, did I mention, you are totally clean after the climax of the trick.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
hugmagic
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AS I recall, the Supreme book was a reprint of the silk portion of the Marconik book. I will check tomorrow.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
Bill Hegbli
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Richard, I don't know about that I never compared the contents. I just know this Prisoner Silk trick is a sleeper, for those that want to present a real magic looking trick.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Anatole
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I'm pretty sure that Marconick's "Prisoners Silk" was also advertised in the Tannen Catalog back in the 1960's. From the catalog description I worked out the basic handling and presented it at a teen magic club that I belonged to. I could have sworn that it was included in the hardbound Marconick book, but my copy isn't handy right now.

I had a variation of Marconick's Prisoner Silk in which I entered the stage with a red and blue silk already knotted together in my hand. There was a white boutonniere in my lapel (in a Nielsen "Flower to Silk" gimmick). A slight turn of the head and glance at the boutonniere directed the audience's attention to the flower, which then leapt of its own accord from the lapel, flying toward the red and blue silks where it knotted itself between them. A very visual effect! As Bill said, the red white and blue silks can then be placed in a change bag (I now use the velcro[tm] change bag made by Lynetta Welch) and transformed into a Rice American flag silk.

Marconick also featured his "Prisoner Silk" in an old 8mm film that was produced by Harry Stanley's Unique Studios. I would still love to see all of the Unique Studio films transferred to video, even if they are silent. They are a part of magic history that deserves to be preserved for future generations, especially for the clips of Lewis Ganson, Marconick, Ken Brooke, Vernon and others. Martin Breese acquired the rights to those films, but so far the only one transferred to video seems to be "Visions of Ken Brooke" with voiceover narration by Patrick Page.

"The Prisoner Silk" was also discussed previously on the Café at:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=54

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Anatole
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I just checked my copy of _Marconick's Original Magic_. On page 124 of _Marconick's Original Magic_ is an item called "Twentieth Century Again" which is described thusly:
Taking a red silk the magician drapes it over his left arm. Two green silks are next taken and knotted together by their corners. He holds them with both hands letting the audience see that they are truly tied together. There comes the surprise. Pulling the two silks apart, the red silk visibly jumps from his left arm and becomes tied between the two green ones."

Then follows two pages of explanation with three line drawings and four photographs. A variation follows on page 128 called "And Yet Another Twentieth Century" where the red silk is taken from the outside breast pocket, illustrated with 8 brief line drawings.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez

Click here to view attached image.
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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Yes, I just doubled checked and as you state, it is not called "Prisoner Silk". So it is hidden away, and no one has ever found it and rediscovered it except Scott Alexander in his new trick called "Hanky Panky".
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Anatole
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I just viewed Scott's presentation of the "Prisoner Silk" effect at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHT0IsextVs&feature=youtu.be
where he does it I guess as an encore/follow-up to a standard 20th century.

I'm surprised, though, that no credit is given on Scott and Puck's website to Marconick. And the price--$175.00--for a trick that probably sold in Tannen's catalog for much less back in the 60's--seems a bit much. But I guess one of the maxims of professional magic is that if a trick fits into your show and is a prominent feature--then price is irrelevant.

There are probably many magicians besides Scott and Puck who discovered and used "Prisoner Silk" back when it was first advertised in the Tannen's catalog. (Coincidentally, I bought my hardbound Marconick book at Tannen's on one of my first trips to NYC in the 1970's.)

There used to be a maxim in magic: "If you want to keep a secret, publish it in a magic magazine or book." Other great items in the Marconick book are:
"Spinning Cards the Easy Way" (page 22)--a "tip" that makes Audley Walsh's Long Distance Side Spinner a breeze; I later saw Nic Niberco give this tip in his lecture.
"Silk Production from a Magazine" (page 49)--could be adapted to a paper menu as well for a cabaret/night club theme
"Cups of Plenty" (page 50)--which I have seen marketed and which I bought at a magic store
"Floating Cane and Top Hat" (page 72)--a feature of my late great "Cabaret" act; it allowed me to encore the dancing cane at the end of my act. A move I discovered on my own with this set-up was a way to make the dancing cane circle the entire body just in the action of placing the hat on the head. I used a derby instead of a top hat since I do not wear tails in my act; I wear a classy suit and vest so that I look more like Bat Masterson with a cane than a magician.
"Continuous Production of Silks" (page 114) a simplified version of the silk production used by others like Marvyn Roy and Johnny Hart to produce several silks that are then used for a big production
"The Silks That Went to No man's Land" (page 154)--marketed by Harry Stanley I think as "Silken Bombshell"
"Finale"--a silk production from cocktail shakers; I mentioned my version of this previously on the Café at:
http://themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic......start=30
as a great ending to a silent act. I added a tip about using colored liquid and slush powder to the effect to make it more logical.

There are no doubt more great effects hidden away in the Marconick _Original Magic_ book, but those are the ones that I found perfect for my kind of act.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Bill Hegbli
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From what I see of Hanky Panky, there are at least 3 tricks in that act.

Original 20th Century Silks
Rice's Elusive Hank
Prisoner Silks

Nice compact routine from the Promo video. If the 20th Century is repeated, as implied by the Demo, then the amount of silks increase. I am sure they are not P&A silks, but good quality silks are very expensive. Rice's Silk King Studios 20th Century is $80.00, with the Symphony pattern silk.

Fun Inc. 20th Century Silks run about $35.00, but I have handled the silks, and although they look beautiful, the weave is like 3 momme wieght, and would not hold up much over 2 shows, before they start show runs and wear.

I actually think it would be more fun performing the multiple 20th Century like Tony Marks describes in his book, with 5 silks all tied together. I recently read another magician doing something like this, it may have been Ade DuVal or Keith Clark.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Anatole
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I just found a youtube video of Marconick performing at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNuYlf0OVE0
Unfortunately the video freezes at about 3:15 into the act while the music continues. It would have been nice to maybe see if he did the Prisoner Silk.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
jskalon
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Thanks for posting this thread Bill. I am going to have to order it!
Jack
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Bill Hegbli
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Jack, it is not my intention to be helping dealers sell their magic tricks, but when I run across a magic trick that really looks magical, I get very excited. This trick has been around for a long time, and no one has "discovered" it except Scott Alexander recently.

That brought it to my attention, and I started looking to see if it was on the market. I know it was in several books, and I did research them. Sometimes manufacturer's have a better assembly method then mentioned in the books. It was such the case this time. The books say to sew the silks, well - delicate silk is not easy to sew. So I ordered the trick instead of spoiling my silks, I only have expensive Rice Silk King Studio silks, and did not want to mess any of them up on a trial bases.

It is good I did purchase the trick, as it now give me a template to make this trick out of any silks and color combinations I desire.

This is a Flash Trick as the term used in magic. It makes a great opener, or a great stand alone trick. Very easy to do, so all the your work will be on how to handle and display the effect.

One book showed it to be presented with the end of one silk held and the other with your foot placed on the end. Then the silk appears or travels from your hand to in between the 2 being held.

This is definitely a trick that is fun to practice and experiment with different ways of presenting it.

Come on! A killer magic trick for only twenty bucks!
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
David Klass
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I recently purchased Hanky Panky and love the routine.
However, I just can't get the prisoners silk working 100% of the time.
I do everything the same every time but it only seems to work for me around 50%.  

I tie them the same way every time but can never guarantee a good outcome. 

I must admit I'm tempted to give up but I love the effect so much I want to make it work.

Anyone else experienced this? Or can anyone help via a PM.
Thank you
David 
Bill Hegbli
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I suggest that after a mess up, you take a very close look at the silks. Then analyze what went wrong.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Mark Ross
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Based on all the good comments, I have ordered this from Magic Goods. I did find the write-up in Rice's Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pages 1481-1486, plus a Tannen version, page 1486.

Mark
Anatole
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I haven't done the Prisoner Silk in years, but I think one tip is to hold one end of the gimmicked silk between the tips of the first and second fingers and the other end between the tips of the third and fourth fingers--with the fingers of the hand spread like you're Mr. Spock giving a Vulcan salute--"Live long and prosper!"

I also toyed with a variant (pardon any repetition if I've suggested this before) of the magician and the assistant performing it together. They enter the stage together and the assistant tosses the single silk to the two held by the magician. I've never worked with an assistant, but I would guess this would work with some tweaking of the handling. I envisioned a longer t----d arrangement so that the assistant could stand well away from the magician to toss the middle silk.

It's interesting to examine how a trick concept like this one and others evolves. I remember seeing Manfred Thumm of Germany do a bottle production from three silks, which then developed into a marketed item with variations, including Kozak's "THAT" bottle production. Does anyone know the evolutionary history of THAT effect? As far as I remember, Manfred was the first. Magic Hands had some great products. I never attended their conventions, but I understand from reviews in the magazines that they were great!

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
Mystic Myron
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Marconick's Prisoner Silk absolutely was available in the U.S. in the 60's ... It was a favorite of Lou Tannen and he demo'd it often in his shop on West 42nd Street in New York City............It came with three 24" Tannen ultrasilks hooked up ready to go for $6.00..
I know this because my friend and I both bought it from him. It does not have to be done as an opener.........
jerry100won
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Marconick's Prisoner Silk was advertised in Genii Vol. 23, No. 12 - Aug 1959 as Manufactured and sold by Louis Tannen, 120 W. 42nd St., New York 36, New York. Price $6.00.

Wow 6 bucks....where is a time machine when you need one.
Jerry

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

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