I've been thinking lately about the routines I prefer and how they relate to the props I use. And I noticed that my money is spent mostly to essentially the same stuff, besides books. Now a question popped up in my head that may help me understand my choices. I have to explain what I mean:
Magic seems to have an abundance of gimmicks and gaffs that (sometimes, and if used properly) can help in improving a method to create an illusion. My study is literally stuffed with boxes and drawers with all kinds of weird esoteric props that are not normally seen in "real life" (for instance dye-tubes, magnetic hold-outs, transferable topits or that-thingy-that-can-switch-cards-in-my-breastpocket).
Besides that there are also little trinkets that emulate to be something, while in fact being something else (thumbtips, shells, double-sided cards or watches which hands can move in fast forward, to name a few). I am quite fond of these!
Now the words gimmicks, gaffs and fekes have been used all over magic literature, sometimes one substituted for the other. To me it is not exactly clear what is the difference. Gaffs seem to turn up more in cardmagic, while gimmicks are used everywhere. The only book that sheds a little light on it, that I've read is In concert by Roger Klause and Lance Pierce.
My question is twofold.
First I hope someone can point me out where to find anything that describes the difference between gaffs, gimmicks or fekes. Or by any means describe it here .
Second, my interest is drawn towards those magic props that look (and in some sense are) normal and can be handled by spectators, while hiding a function that is not normally related to it, but is added to aide in a magical method. For instance spongeballs, the cups for cups and balls (with heightened attic), a shell for 3-shell game with a chanin dip or maybe even a Dean's Box? Now these props have my greatest interest!
Is there a name for these props? Are they essentially gimmicks? Or gaffs? I would like to see a list of objects used in (close-up) magic, that are not suspected by laypersons if they hold or use them (and I am not referring to a locking scotch&soda gimmick).
Any thoughts on these?
(I am particularly interested in close-up or stand-up props, but would not mind to learn what is out there in the world of stage illusions as well.)