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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Cups and Balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magic Man 997
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Hey all, doing some research for a project I'm considering doing, I'm wondering about the cups and balls, the "oldest" trick in magic, who/what is the accepted creator/origin of the trick? Is it Dede around 2700 bc and the whole cave painting thing or The Acetabularii around 50 ad or something else

Thanks for the help, Tyler
Jeff Hinchliffe
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Nothing in the writings pertaining to Dedi make reference to the cups and balls, and the paintings found on the Beni Hassan tomb are no longer considered (by scholars both magic and non) to be depicting the cups and balls.

The earliest references in text (that I'm aware of) are in the Moral Epistles of Seneca and in the Letters of Alciphron. However, in reading these passages, it seems quite obvious that the trick was already well in fashion at the times of these writings (which are approx. 2000 years old).

Hope this is of some help...

Jeff
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Payne
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The cups and balls is not the oldest trick in magic. The oldest trick in magic most likely is the aquitment or false transfer. Which no doubt was employed by ancient man to make small objects vanish.

This of course is just supposition on my part. but since the cups and balls is reliant on the aquitment and other basic conjuring techniques. It stands to reason that many of these feints were developed before being brought together in a cups and balls routine.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Jonathan Townsend
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? IMHO very likely a prediction effect to lend credibility to an oracle.

in terms of the ha-ha prank stuff ... likely something using the duplicate principle where a thing is thrown away or broken and later found to be intact.

think domesticated swindles and you've likely got the basic flow of deception and guile into the domesticated craft of amusing by offering supposedly impossible trifles. ecology check: How nice that you can fly, can you get my son here to the hospital across the country right now as he needs a transplant?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Michael Baker
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I believe the first technique may have been misdirection... either to distract some prey while another hunter did the deed, or distracting a fellow human to steal something that was wanted, or inflict some harm.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2013-05-26 13:34, Magic Man 997 wrote:
Hey all, doing some research for a project I'm considering doing, I'm wondering about the cups and balls, the "oldest" trick in magic, who/what is the accepted creator/origin of the trick? Is it Dede around 2700 bc and the whole cave painting thing or The Acetabularii around 50 ad or something else

Thanks for the help, Tyler


The "accepted" origin of the trick and the truth are most likely two different things. Gary Koznitzky has done a huge amount of research on the cups and balls and can argue quite lucidly and logically that Cheppum Panthum, the Indian version of the cups and balls, is much older than any other recorded piece of magic.

Acquitments are not tricks. They are tools. The same is true of misdirection.

You might want to visit the cups and balls museum to see some more information on the subject.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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