Thanks to Pete for the kind words. Yes, Frakson taught me the Martin Birdcage(s). Jim Riser reported my words accurately: the outfit is warm to wear....and it requires the performer to remove his jacket, drop his trousers and go through quite an ordeal to reset. Practice is a long, involved process and in an hour or two, you can be exhausted, and only have gone through the routine a few times. It took me a long time to perfect the presentation.
I believe I am the only person left who knows the details. My cages were sold to Bob Albo years ago and the write up on the cages in Albo's book was written by me...uncredited, I believe, and I don't believe it can be performed with what I wrote.
To be truthful, the trick is not that practical. More practical is the vanish of the Martin square cage as done by Howard de Courcy, actually done a tiny bit better by his friend and pupil, Granville Taylor. As I understand it, Howard opened with it already in his hands, but Granville does it a bit differently. The cage is produced, set on a table and a bit later picked up and vanished, the coat being removed to show that it is truly gone.
The Frakson domed cage hung or sat on Papa's table. Handed out to someone to "examine" (actually just put on their open hand) and then held out at an angle to the floor, covered with a large silk foulard, and vanished, the silk falling to the stage.
Papa would pretend to hear someone in the audience say that it "went up his sleeve." To that he would remove his coat and turn around. The applause would start up again and he would stop it, pretending to hear a comment that it was "in the silk." He would bend over and gently pick up the silk and then vigorously show that it was truly empty....the applause would start and suddenly, the cage would rematerialize under the silk. A perfect presentation, but one of the more difficult tricks to present.
Owen Magic does make a marvelous Lindhorst-style Vanishing Cage....for the ridiculous price of $400. Given the amount of work involved, the price should be more like $650. Les just made me another one....I've been using them for years. The best pull in my experience is just a loop of nylon cord, properly adjusts.....and then lots and lots of practice.
When I was a kid, I independently came up with the same move that Zaney Blaney used. I did it for Bergeron and he asked me when I'd seen Blaney. I didn't know what he was talking about. I was crazy for Allerton-type material, so I always wore a coat and the cage, reaching around my back and producing the Lindhorst-style cage in one hand.
To the fellow who asked the question that started this thread, understand that there is no substitute for doing the trick a few thousand times....and if you have a favorite jacket, have your tailor sew smooth leather patches over the arm pits so the pull doesn't wear out the cloth. That happened on at least one jacket of mine.