Egg Bag History

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Postby Ray Eden » 10/10/12 01:30 PM

Hello,

I need to write up a history of the Egg Bag. Am I right that Malini was the first to popularize the effect? I understand that the way it is most commonly performed comes to us from Malini to Charlie Miller to Johnny Thompson. This is probably an over simplification..

Anyway, any historical tidbits or comments would be appreciated.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 10/10/12 01:46 PM

Start with Isaac Fawkes who died in 1732. I imagine it was a pretty old effect then.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/10/12 01:50 PM

Start with Charlie Miller, who on a dare from Vernon created the legend of Max Malini. This was apparently based on a line of Sachs Sleight of Hand (assistant concealing eggs) using old newspaper clippings and a few found photos of a guy in a cape.

Not sure you want to use Isaac Fawkes given the "V" thing and Parliment.

IMHO folks would do better to read history than (re)write it.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/10/12 03:39 PM

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Postby Jonathan Pendragon » 10/11/12 03:26 AM

The whole "V" thing was Guy Fawkes ("a penny for the Guy"), who was executed in 1606 for trying to blow up the British Parliament. I am pretty sure he never performed the Egg Bag.

Isaac Fawkes did present an egg bag, in fact, it was his best known effect. He is shown performing it in flyers and in details from Thomas Loggon's famous fan painting. The effect seems to be a continuous production of eggs and other objects from a bag much larger than what refer to now as an "egg bag". He probably wasn't the first to present the effect, but he was the first to make it famous and although the Malini style Egg Bag is different in many ways, not to mention Fawkes' contributions (at least his self-preservation inspired notion of skill not magic) seems rude. "I know of no reason why Isaac's Egg Bag should ever be forgot!"
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Postby Ray Eden » 10/11/12 03:42 AM

Thanks for the comments.
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Postby Ray Eden » 10/11/12 04:00 AM

I seem to remember hearing or reading that the Great Willard (?) did an Egg Bag routine using a large bag and ending with the production of a chicken for the climax. Anyone have more on this?
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Postby Ray Eden » 10/11/12 04:14 AM

Hmmm...just read the info from http://geniimagazine.com/magicpedia/Egg_Bag From what I understood, Miller did the routine he had learned from Malini, but this page says that Ken Brooke and Miller created the routine. What is the truth?
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Postby Joe Pecore » 10/11/12 05:50 AM

Ray Eden wrote:I seem to remember hearing or reading that the Great Willard (?) did an Egg Bag routine using a large bag and ending with the production of a chicken for the climax. Anyone have more on this?


Didn't Mike Caveney demonstrate on the Essential Magic Conference a large egg bag routine by Del Adelphia (and produced a chicken for the climax)? I'll have to look it up.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 10/11/12 08:50 AM

From memory and off the top of my head:

There are two main types of Egg Bag.

The style used by Isaac Fawkes and the Bambergs which produced a load of eggs and something large at the end, like a chicken. I'm pretty sure the Bamberg Bag is described in Tarbell, or the first Albo book, or both.

The smaller style bag, which had a secret pocket half the width of the bag, half way down on one side. I believe this was the type used to great effect by Horace Goldin and Arnold deBiere. Eddie Burke of Magictrix, England once put out a manuscript about deBiere's presentation and handling which involved a switch of the bag as he removed his jacket.

Malini is credited with having the secret pocket in a corner. This is the 'Malini/Miller/Thompson' type of bag most commonly used today. Jeff Hobson has some great work on this type of bag.

Ken Brooke published a manuscript, "Ken Brooke and Friends Work on the Malini Egg Bag", (superbly illustrated by Sid Lorrainne), which incorporated handlings by a number of professionals and is a cracking routine.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 10/11/12 08:56 AM

Has anyone incorporated a chicken clucking sound effect into the bag - ie it makes that sound to announce the "arrival" of the egg?
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Postby Ray Eden » 10/11/12 09:19 AM

Mullica gave a wha-wha. :-)
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Postby Q. Kumber » 10/11/12 10:39 AM

Jonathan's post has reminded me of an egg bag I once owned that worked like a regular egg bag with the halfway partition and at the end you turned it inside out and it became a (flat) chicken. Supreme also sold a version where the bag became a hen puppet.

Cedric Richardson (who had contributions on pages 409 and 433 of The Jinx)used a net egg bag in his children's show and would have the children make clucking noises as the egg appeared. Cedric apparently produced a number of eggs, even though it was the same egg. It was a delightful routine for small children.
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 10/12/12 12:48 AM

Vernon mentioned in the Revelations tapes that at one point vaudeville became so oversaturated with egg bag performances, that theater managers would put out signs that said "No Egg Bags."
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Postby Greg Edmonds » 10/12/12 03:28 PM

David Devant is probably best known for the production of multiple eggs in relatively modern times (in the last century). Fawkes, too, produces many eggs from his--much larger than the Malini/Miller--bag.

There are illustrations extant predating Isaac Fawkes by at about two centuries, showing magicians (jugglers, in the native languages, way back then) with bags on their performing tables, and what might well be an egg.

Early Tarot cards show Le Bauteleur (The Juggler) performing with a bag on the table. One is likely his prop bag, or Gibeciere--though not worn on the belt and used as a repository for cup and ball loads, as normally seen is such images--and another, smaller bag (or cup) appears to have two compartments on one illustration.

http://forum.tarothistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=205

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magician_(Tarot_card)

In the earliest known Tarot deck, the performer is pointing to what appears to be a bag, the latter's use, however, we can only guess. See:

http://www.dodedans.com/Epaul16.htm

and finally, this image shows the performer with what appear to be eggs and either a hat or a bag shaped like a hat (likely the latter, in my opinion, as the hat the performer is wearing was more likely the style of the period):

http://www.zazzle.com/the_magician_taro ... 0196885156

Here you can see images inspired by or created for the Tarot showing the performer with both gibiciere and a bag on the table.

http://trionfi.com/naibi-dozen

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Postby Chas Nigh » 10/12/12 06:51 PM

Golden Gate Magic released a Sheperd bag with pocket at bottom of the bag years ago. My favorite bag since audience couldn't follow when bag was inside out.
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Postby Jonathan Pendragon » 10/20/12 02:48 AM

Mike Caveney produces the chicken from a borrowed gentlemen's coat.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 10/20/12 02:57 AM

Joe Pecore wrote:Didn't Mike Caveney demonstrate on the Essential Magic Conference a large egg bag routine by Del Adelphia (and produced a chicken for the climax)? I'll have to look it up.

While I missed the EMC this year, Mike first performed this routine at the Magic Castle several years ago, then the History Conference, and subsequently in his Castle Parlour act. He first produces a couple dozen eggs from the bag--which is inspected several times during the routine--and finally produces his live chicken at the end (which, of course, explains where all the eggs came from). It's a different routine from the one Jonathan is talking about.

If Willard did it, he got it from Del Adelphia.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/22/14 08:07 AM

A British Pathe video clip of Arnold deBiere performing the Egg Bag in 1933.

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/de-bi ... y/magician
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Postby Gary Brown » 01/26/14 10:27 PM

Hi

I recognize that this is an old thread, so the information is probably of no use now, but I wanted to add that, I believe (without checking my reference books) that the major innovation of the Tarbell egg bag is the use of plaid material. I can only assume that Tarbell introduced this variant. Obviously, plaid fabric presents certain advantages in the routine in helping conceal the methodology.

Some years ago, I met an elderly magician (I think he was nearing 90 when we met), on a "Tarbell Night" at a Florida magic club. This fellow had actually studied magic from the Tarbell course when it was a correspondence course -- periodic chapters were mailed to magicians around the world. He chose to perform the egg bag as he had learned it from the Tarbell mailings. The only distinctive feature I recall is that he repeatedly clapped his hands inside the bag to help prove that it was gone. I assume this move was from the original Tarbell lessons. It's the kind of subtlety that helps convince the spectator, in an unspoken manner, that magic was happening.

In a way, it's the kind of artistry that would lead one to make a bag from plaid fabric . . .
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/26/14 11:41 PM

No thread is too old for ressurection!

The Tarbell/Sterling Egg Bag is notable because the pocket is in plain sight on the outside of the bag, hidden by the plaid, for parts of the handling. Those who have one made by Lynn Healy know what a wonderful prop it is (and there are many moves that can be done with it that are different). You can do a beautiful production (or reproduction) of the egg by rolling the bag into a vertical tube and squeezing it in your hand from the bottom and moving upward. The egg appears perched on top.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/27/14 02:35 PM

I have always thought that the best finish for an egg bag routine is to produce a bird. Nothing else is enough of a climax, for my money. I loved Mike's routine when I saw it in the Parlor.

Does anybody know if the basic idea of a bag that holds eggs has ever meant anything? Were eggs ever sold in a bag or transported in bags?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/27/14 05:14 PM

The traditional Japanese version of the Egg Bag is fascinating: it uses the sleeve of Kimono.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/27/14 07:51 PM

Pete McCabe wrote:...Does anybody know if the basic idea of a bag that holds eggs has ever meant anything? Were eggs ever sold in a bag or transported in bags?


Yes, paper sacks - long before that nice cardboard egg crate was available. Recall the "eggs in one basket" line? Yup, folks carried baskets too. The cloth bag and it's unusual properties was relatable back then. As was smoking, wearing a cane...
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Postby mrgoat » 01/27/14 08:54 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:The traditional Japanese version of the Egg Bag is fascinating: it uses the sleeve of Kimono.


Ah, the old wizards' sleeve.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/28/14 01:01 AM

An Egg Bag routine with a paper bag. That sounds interesting. You could tear it up at the end to prove the vanish.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/28/14 07:23 AM

Pete McCabe wrote:An Egg Bag routine with a paper bag. That sounds interesting. You could tear it up at the end to prove the vanish.


Sounds interesting, but the video is HORRIBLE. In fact, it seems he took it down, probably because it was so bad.
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Postby Tom Pilling » 01/29/14 01:11 AM

mrgoat wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:The traditional Japanese version of the Egg Bag is fascinating: it uses the sleeve of Kimono.


Ah, the old wizards' sleeve.


That's the version you see in Bangkok, Damian.

:shock:
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Postby Q. Kumber » 02/01/14 01:36 PM

Bill Abbott is now selling an egg bag with a paper bag,

http://billabbottmagic.com/online-store/PB&E.html
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Postby mrgoat » 02/01/14 02:21 PM

Q. Kumber wrote:Bill Abbott is now selling an egg bag with a paper bag,

http://billabbottmagic.com/online-store/PB&E.html


yeah. that's the one I said looked awful, he took the video down of the live recording of the effect, and I don't blame him after seeing it, he wouldn't have sold any!
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Postby Q. Kumber » 02/01/14 02:47 PM

I'd seen your post mentioning a paper bag egg bag, but didn't realise what exactly you were referencing,

This discussion popped into my mind today when I received Bill Abbott's email promoting the trick. It was the first I'd heard of it (the version Bill is now selling).
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Postby Tom Pilling » 02/01/14 10:13 PM

I don't see what's wrong with the Malini bag? Let's face it, Mr Goat, most people in the UK have never seen it! Why bring a paper bag into it? There is no need to do so, in my horrifically arrogant opinion.

I love old Bill Abbott, by the way. He cool.
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Postby Brad Jeffers » 02/02/14 04:49 PM

If your looking for information on the egg bag, click HERE and scroll down to the fifth post (by Lawrence O) !
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/02/14 09:34 PM

I don't see how an egg makes a good bag. I mean it's an okay package for a chicken but how are you going to use it as a bag? Or is that the point of the silk and egg routine?

The paper sack ... not sure how well the egg contrasts for that moment where they look in and see nothing, then reach in again and feel the egg ...
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Postby Tom Pilling » 02/03/14 05:03 PM

Jonathan, I once tried to use an egg as a bag. It was no yolk, I tells ya.

I think there's something aesthetically beautiful about producing a pure white egg from a black bag. I imagine Freud would have had a field day with it. It is a very powerful image.
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Postby MJE » 03/25/14 10:19 PM

Hey, Guys....

I've been to a few Guy Fawlks (spelling?) Days celebrations. It comes with being married to a Brit, I guess. She's a real sweetheart, but she doesn't always have the story right.

I had no idea that he was involved with the Egg Bag! Are you "Guys" serious, or is it just more to add to the legend?

Burn The Guy!

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Postby Brad Jeffers » 03/26/14 03:20 AM

The magician was Issac Fawkes
Image
Guy Fawkes is this guy
Image
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 03/26/14 08:02 AM

Tom Pilling wrote:...I think there's something aesthetically beautiful about producing a pure white egg from a black bag. I imagine Freud would have had a field day with it. It is a very powerful image.


As a still life painting depicting the idea of the trick or from the point of view of the performer in that moment doing the trick I agree. But as a performer and looking at things from the point of view of the audience it's a stretch.

The experience/referent in analog is a farm thing with baskets and a town thing where you got a cloth sack used for flour and wanted to get your shopping home safely ... no longer relevant and now merely Freudian. Are those your eggs? Did you lay them yourself? (also old joke)
Then again taking out a lace bag and saying you got it from your parents top drawer next to some magazines with pictures with suitable naive birds and bees patter might play as "what do you tell your children about... "

anyway it's early in the morning and my first textual eggs are not grade A.

Maybe painting a Guy Fawkes face on an egg would lead to some comedy ala Zombie where the egg won't go into the bag? Hatches a puppet chicken with its own ideas? Okay that's better.

Now back to navigating the sticky tendrils of text and auditory pleas for attention designed to initiate transderivational searches while not conveying meaning. The semiotics of a virtual Lovecraftian horror that feeds on attention.
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Postby Jim Riser » 03/26/14 12:36 PM

I have included the Egg Bag in every paid show that I did to work my way through college and to later help support my family. It followed my vanishing birdcage. To my way of thinking, it is the perfect trick. Over the years, I have handled a variety of bags.

The "hot" bag today is the Malini style with the two best bags being currently made by Pauline and Lynetta. When I was trying to settle in with a bag type, it was rather difficult to obtain one of these. Most folks do not realize it but the Malini bags are right handed. Sometime in the 1970's a Malini style bag was being made and sold which was left handed. This was not done on purpose. The maker simply did not know how important it was to have the opening on the correct side of the bag. At one time, I considered making the correct bags and even bought two bolts of crepe de chine for their construction. Then good Malini bags began to appear on the market and I set the fabric aside. The Malini style bag is not my bag of choice for performance.

While in high school, I designed and hand stitched my first bag. It was not a standard design for the workings. It allowed me to utilize regular wooden eggs and allow the spectator to rather freely handle the bag. Not knowing any better at the time, I sewed a zipper into the bottom of the bag (not necessary and slows down presentation). After a few times of using the zipper, I quit using it and just ignored it. The bag served me well for probably 6 years at which time, I sewed up a new bag (same workings) which is the bag I would continue to use for another 30 years. I had custom cast resin eggs made for this bag by a friend who made rattlesnake head and scorpion clear cast paperweights. I like a heavy egg as it feels real to the two spectators assisting me in the presentation. Heavy eggs are a no-no with a Malini style bag.

Various bags have been explored. I never had any use for a bag that turned into a hen - talk about exposing the existence of a pocket! Tommy Windsor had a money bag set sold by Lee Jacobs. The bag looked like a real money bag but the pocket and design of the workings were too obvious.

Jack Miller had a bag with a different pocket and holdout egg. It would not be practical to do this with the vanishing birdcage (my standard opener).

Martin Lewis still markets a nice Mardo style bag. And the classic Tarbell style can be found now and then.

I have not handled a Jeff Hobson bag but believe it is a Malini variation.

There are very valid reasons for a performer to select one type of bag over another for both practicality and effect.

Audiences of all ages understand and enjoy the egg bag. People know what a bag is and what a fragile egg is. It is the interplay with the two assisting spectators that makes the trick great.

BTW - check out your history on the Devant egg trick and see the relationship between Thurston and Devant regarding the originator of the comic effect.
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Postby MJE » 03/26/14 10:47 PM

[quote="Brad Jeffers"][
Guy Fawkes is this guy


Oh......OK.....

-MJ
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