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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Everything old is new again » » Chinese (?) Linking Rings (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Curtis Kam
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same as you, plus 3 and enough to make
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Okay, I'll admit it, I have done this effect throughout my career (so far) in one form or another, and being Chinese, I have taken some pride in telling audiences that this, one of the earliest of effects, really did originate in China. (Like everything else, of course.)

But did it? The earliest references I've seen go back to Austria and Western Europe, which makes sense, since I'm limited to sources written in English. But that seems a half-baked way to go about researching a Chinese effect, don't you think?

So how's about it, and ethnocology aside, just how old is this effect?
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Peter Marucci
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In the 13th century, Marco Polo reports seeing Chinese magicians doing wonders (i.e. linking and unlinking them) with three large rings (about three feet in diameter).
So the effect is old, old, old.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Where did you see the Marco Pole quote? I am very interested in this history. I have info from the 1500s about a Spanish Magician doing the trick.

My personal feelings is the trick came out of Egypt and travelled east and west on the silk/trade routes.
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Peter Marucci
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Pete,
Marco Polo refers to it in his own book.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
deerbourne
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Peter,

Do you have any other references from China since there's still a strong debate on whether or not Marco Polo really made it to China?

There is a reference to a medieval magician who would throw unlinked pieces of chain into the air and they would come down linked.

Deerbourne

Deerbourne
DanielGreenWolf
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I think one of the beauties of the Linking Rings is the historical obscurity around it. I once read of accounts of celtic shamans (when they had a tribal society) who melted and hardened metal at will. I use this bit of possible history in my own linking ring act. I say possible because this Myth could have been generated by linking rings.

By the way, may I say that I absolutely love that a historical section has been added to the Café. I'm very pleased indeed and will be on this more often than most other sections, being a young magic history buff myself.

-Daniel GreenWolf
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
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Pete Biro
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Geramalo Cardano in the 1500s wrote about Damatus, a Spanish Performer, entertaining the Belgian Royal Family with linking rings.

Tamariz gave me material describing the linking rings during the Spanish Inquisition period.

It's all going into my book of ring history.
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DanielGreenWolf
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Ring History? Being a avid student of "all things ring", I would love to know when it appears on the market. Please Pete, keep me updated. Smile

-Daniel GreenWolf
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
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Peter Marucci
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Deerbourne writes: "Do you have any other references from China since there's still a strong debate on whether or not Marco Polo really made it to China?"

No other references offhand.

And I'm aware of the rather specious argument that Polo never made it to China. But where do these critics think he hid out for a decade or so? Albania?
Pete Biro
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In Beverly Hills at the POLO Lounge?
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Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
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Quote:
On 2004-06-25 00:00, Malak wrote:
Ring History? I would love to know when it appears on the market. Please Pete, keep me updated. Smile

-Daniel GreenWolf


Ditto this. Specialized history topics are of great interest to me.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bill Hegbli
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When the Davenports (Davenport Magic, London, England) were at Abbott's years ago. The young manipulator Davenport lectured and said the Linking Rings were performed by Chinese acrobates/jugglers for centuries, dating back to the ming dynasty. I am mentioning this from memory. I believe he also wrote a book on the subject. He demonistrated how they would throw the rings 10 foot in the air and did the crash link type of effect on the decent.

Maybe Pete Biro can expand on this, as he spent a lot of time in London.
MagicbyCarlo
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I was told that the effect is about 500 years old, I think it was during a discussion with Eugene Burger and Jeff McBride. That would jive with Peter Biro's 1500 date. As to the origin being China? Not a clue, although it is plausable that Peter Marucci's information on Marco Polo witnessing the effect may correct. Regardless it seems to be one of the oldest illusions still performed. Even as over exposed as it's been, audiences still seem to love a nice ring routine. By the way, WM, I do the 10 foot toss and crash link, drove my wife nuts learning it since we only have 8 foot ceilings Smile
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BroDavid
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Now that sounds like something I would like to include in routine. And in all my books and vids, I have noting like it.

Can anyone tell me where to find information on the 10 foot toss and link? Is it even written up anywhee?

If not a PM with a hint or two would be greatly appreciated.

BroDavid
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Steven Steele
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BroDavid,

Check out page 64 of "Rings on your Fingers" by Fitzkee. If you don't have it, I'll save you the trouble. Toss the ring in the air and when it comes down, link it. That's a paraphrase of the 6 sentences he uses to describe the effect. One to actually describe it, two to tell you where he saw it, and the other two to tell you how to do it (I combined the two into one sentence). And quite honestly, that's really all there is to it. You have to adjust the key for your particular style. I have it behind my extended index finger.

Good luck...there's a knack to it.
BroDavid
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Thanks Steven.

As it happens, the current Linking Ring Magazine has a description of the link by a magician down under (they claim 2-3 feet toss) but in about a sentence, they tell you about the same thing.

It sounds a lot like juggling, and so I may be in big trouble, but I appreciate the info and will try it out.

Thanks

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Paul Romhany
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Reading a book at the moment Called Marco Polo by Daivd Butler and Keith Miles and they talk about Marco Polo seeing a magician perform.
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Pete Biro
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Perform what? Can you give me more details? Book ISBN #?
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Steven Steele
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Pete,

Marco Polo actually wrote a narrative of his journey. It was one of the earliest European narratives ever written. It's available and might have a description of what he saw.
mattisdx
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I saw this guy at an amusement park who did a great job at the linking rings. I was totally stunned ! Smile
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