Jasper Maskelyne - Razor Blade Illusion

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 12/21/04 10:00 AM

Dear Magicians,

This illusion has been puzzling me for a while now and I would really like to know where I could buy it or find out how to make and do it.
The trick goes like this:
Maskelyne stands behind his table with a glass of water, a couple of pices of paper and a stand with about 5 or 6 razor blades on it. He stands with 1 hand behind his back. He takes 1 blade at a time from this simple stand and either taps it on a glass or slashes the paper. He then places it in his mouth (the blade not the paper) and swallows then opens his mouth to show it empty. He does this for each blade. He then takes a piece of thread an swallows that, shows his mouth empty. Then with nothing in his hand, he reaches into his mouth to produce the blades on the string.

Teller from Penn and Teller does a better version of this but I gather he invented that himself.

Any information that you could give me on this topic would be much aprecciated.

Magical Regards,
The Cardiologist

Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/21/04 11:05 AM

See Bruce Elliott's book, Classic Secrets of Magic.
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Postby Jerry Harrell » 12/21/04 02:15 PM

Or John Booth's "Marvels of Mystery"
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Postby Kent Blackmore » 12/21/04 03:14 PM

By sheer coincidence, I downloaded a video of Maskelyne performing this routine, only a couple of days ago.

You can find it at
http://www.britishpathe.com/product_dis ... earch.y=27
along with many other magical film clips. The free sample download is about 3.4Mb.

The film shows no evidence of the usual 'moves'. The blades and thread go in, the threaded blades come out. Implying that in making the film Maskelyne used a clean setup that he might not have used in a live performance.

And for more about Jasper Maskelyne and his deceptive techniques, don't miss Richard Stokes' great new website http://maskelynemagic.com
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