Vernon Cups: Myth?

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erdnasephile
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Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby erdnasephile » December 16th, 2016, 8:57 am

All:

I recall reading somewhere (? Busby's writings) that Dai Vernon had his cups engraved because he noticed that when a hand with a palmed ball passed in front of a mirror-finished cup, the reflection of the ball sometimes flashed to the audience.

Does anyone know if that story is true or just pure malarkey?

Thanks!

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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Ian Kendall » December 16th, 2016, 9:22 am

Dubious. I think in the Canadian Vernon documentary it was mentioned that the cups were given to him engraved to begin with.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 16th, 2016, 10:13 am

? Heard there were two (or three) sets brought over at the time. Vernon got one - used em ... Persi Diaconis replaced with theirs after a while. The Vernon(2) set passed from Vernon to Jennings - then to a collector. Set 1 staying safe with professor Diaconis. :)
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Tom Moore
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Tom Moore » December 16th, 2016, 12:03 pm

Engraving wouldn't stop it flashing either (compared to regular mirror polish) which is probably the main reason why this story isn't likely to be true
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 16th, 2016, 12:50 pm

Vernon seemed more the type to notice that there's little reason to get your hands in front of the cups during the routine. Someone like Ramsay however... maybe he worried about it.
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Leonard Hevia
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 16th, 2016, 8:43 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:? Heard there were two (or three) sets brought over at the time. Vernon got one - used em ... Persi Diaconis replaced with theirs after a while. The Vernon(2) set passed from Vernon to Jennings - then to a collector. Set 1 staying safe with professor Diaconis. :)


I thought there were three sets but David Ben believes that there were only two, the sets that passed between Diaconis and Vernon. The collector in question is Bill Taylor. He purchased it from Jennings' widow a number of years ago.

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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Tom Gilbert » December 16th, 2016, 9:21 pm

Maybe my memory is blending some things, but I thought there was an interview where Vernon talking about getting the cups in Iran.

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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 17th, 2016, 12:38 am

Tom Gilbert wrote:Maybe my memory is blending some things, but I thought there was an interview where Vernon talking about getting the cups in Iran.


Paul Fox had given Vernon a set of his legendary cups between 1936 and 1937. Vernon loaned them out to Life Magazine photographer George Karger in the mid 1950s. On a trip to Iran, Karger had the cups replicated in sterling silver and ornately engraved. Apparently two sets were made with Vernon keeping one set and Karger the other. Diaconis managed to obtain the set that Karger owned and later on he and Vernon traded cups.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby erdnasephile » December 17th, 2016, 10:07 am

Thanks for the interesting information!

I did another search of my library and discovered that my original recollection about an alleged Vernon story was wrong.

The real origin of idea is from a book by Jay Lloyd Evans: "The Other Side of the Coin: Advice on Performing Close-up Magic" ( http://magicref.tripod.com/books/evansj ... ofcoin.htm ) where he writes (pg 19):

"The cups I use are silver. I had the beautiful polished finish on the outside dulled to a satin luster. Why? Palm a red ball in your hand and pass it in front of a mirror like cup. See the flash? This is one of the things experience teaches you. Make your props cooperate with you, don't you conform to suit them."

Sorry for the confusion--got my wires crossed on this one (However, Busby did sell the book to me, so I knew he factored in there somewhere! ;) )

PS: The book is a really interesting one--strong, unapologetic, practical opinions from an experienced performer. He readily admits that readers are not going to agree with everything he writes (as in this case), but he definitely tries to make you think. He also doesn't hesitate to name specific examples of what he believes to be good and not so good magic. He seems quite the character and the book reminds me of other works by Beck, Weber, and White. Does anyone know what became of Mr. Evans?


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