Mr. Pendragon: Thank you so much for your insight. I am honored that you took the time to respond to my post, let alone read it. I agree, illusions get more and more complicated, however, I love the simplicity of older illusions and I believe that the magic lies in the performer's showmanship, not the prop. I think you have proved exactly that in your approach to presentation. Nothing in magic is quite the same as a "Pendragon" version of a trick.
Mr. Mullins: I have taken this up with Paul, and I have received a respectful and more-than-adequate response to the questions I posed.
However, in regards to your post, I must point out that this is not really a "public" forum. It is open and accessible to anyone, but the vast majority of users here are magicians. I wanted the opinion of professional magicians, but I did not have direct contact info. This is why I asked here, through Genii Forum, not Yahoo Answers...the post was targeted as finitely as I could make it.
Furthermore, I am not "calling out" anyone. I stated a list of facts about my situation, followed by a personal thought/hypothesis, followed by a question to be answered by members of the Forum. I was only attempting to gather second opinions from other people.
Not only have I discussed this with Paul, but I have also discussed it with the owner of the original illusion, which is why I feel that the drawings and explanation are lacking in credibility.
As for "anonymous", I have no problem telling you who I am and what I am doing, but I wanted to keep the original post generic, so that the specific illusion did not skew people's thoughts or responses.
For the record, my name is Matt Rightmire, I'm 32 years old, I have been performing/buying/building magic since I was 6. I am going to graduate school for technical theatre production and design at the Johnny Carson School of Theatre & Film at the University of Nebraska. I am a designer, carpenter, welder, painter, actor, juggler, magician, but most of all, I am an ARTIST. The best hour of my life was spent sitting with James Randi, enjoying pie and cocoa, while talking about the golden age of the stage show. I am a magic historian and someday will pass along the rich history of our craft through the professional venue of being a college professor.
I am currently working off of Osborne's plans for the Aztec Lady, created by Robert Harbin. I will be presenting it as a demonstration regarding magic in history to a group of students and faculty. Any changes that will be made to the illusion are based on my conversation with Paul and my conversation with Christopher Woodward, who owns Harbin's original prop.
If anyone would like to know more about me or what I am doing, please feel free to e-mail me, I am anything but "anonymous"...after all, I am a magician.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
All the best,