Ching Ling Foo contd.
perform.From the description I conclude that the most travelled (in China)Chinese magician had never seen the Rings before. On several other old fly bills the Rings are often described as, 'The Hindoo Rings' and 'The Hindoostan Rings' The more I look the more I agree with Pete Biro and Topper Martyn that the Rings probably originated in India; long famous for it's metal work.The Indian Link Trick has long, long been in the Jadoowallah's repertoire.See Indian Conjuring by Major Lionel Branson & his other book, 'Supplementary Magic' (written under the the pen name 'Elbiquet') The Link Trick is done with flat rings (usually about 3 1/2. inches in diameter & approx. 1/4 inch thick) which link, unlink etc. As far as I can discover Indian Jugglers/magicians were in the West before Chinese ones.
One thing has become certain, Phillipe ( whose assistant Macallister left him & performed the Rings) was NOT the first to perform them in the West.I had found all this info. reasearching the Rings for an American magician friend THEN Today (13th.Aug) I happened to look at, the beginning of Sam H Sharpe's Index on Oriental Magicians, found in Oriental Conjuring & Magic by Will Ayling. Supreme magic 1981.) Lo & behold he too had found the Khia Khan Kruse playbill and the 1827 fly bill in The Magic Circular) It goes to show NONE of us really reads our magic books.We must read the prefaces etc. as well !Also in Eddie Dawes book, on page 58 there is a front piece from Fairburn's New London Conjurer published in the 1820's showing a fairground booth with Gyngell performing magic & on his table are 3 Rings, which look linked!Then in Hugards Magic Monthly Vol. 7 No. 3, Aug 1949 on page 572 there is a JH column on the Rings quoting Le Journal De la Prestigitation July/Aug)
describing in the Hieronymus Cardeneus book,'de subtilitate' how he witnessed a feat of jugglery by the renowned Spanish Chevalier Damautus at the Court of Charles V, of large rings thrown into the air, that were solid and detatched but when they fell they were solidly linked together!This was in 1554. Whew.
Keep searching and researching.
Allen Tipton UKallen@tipton27.wanadoo.co.uk