Vernon Cups: Myth?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Leo Garet
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Leo Garet » December 1st, 2019, 11:31 am

The Gamages catalogue is the one I had in the late 50s. That is, the cover and the colour are the same.

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Leonard Hevia » December 1st, 2019, 11:41 am

Leo Garet wrote:The Gamages catalogue is the one I had in the late 50s. That is, the cover and the colour are the same.


Do you still have this catalog Leo? Mark did a wonderful show of confirming the existence of the catalogs. The Lybrary PDF shows a 1930s catalog. I'm leaning closer to the 50s.

Leo Garet
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Leo Garet » December 1st, 2019, 1:24 pm

Leonard:

No, sadly, I don't. Catalogues came and went, more's the shame.

I do have a circa 1960 Harry Stanley Unique catalogue. How that managed to escape the fate of all the rest---Hamley's, Corinda's, Davenports, Inzani-Henley, Ellisdons, and more---I have no idea. But I'm glad it did.

Courtesy of Willis Hall, I also have a small booklet catalogue titled "Ellisdons & Son, being "Extracts From The Catalogues Of 1938 And 1956". Published by Toebar Limited, Norfolk. England. It's about 20 years old.

Lots of old favourites in here, including the Seebackroscope.

performer
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby performer » December 1st, 2019, 2:10 pm

Ellisdons tried for ages and ages to get their merchandise into Gamages and were baffled that they couldn't ever succeed. Of course they didn't know that Harry Baron would always favour Kaymar Magic more than anyone else!

As an aside I also worked for Corinda when he had the magic concession in Hamley's toy shop. I was greatly amused when one day a cease and desist letter came from Ellisdon's lawyer about some merchandise or other stolen from Ellisdon's copyright or design---I can't remember the details. All I do remember is Ali Bongo who was the manager muttering, "Oh well, it had to happen sooner or later".

Dave Le Fevre
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » December 2nd, 2019, 4:24 am

performer wrote:Early sixties I would imagine

That sounds like when I'd have been shopping there. You may well have sold me a few items.

performer
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby performer » December 2nd, 2019, 8:23 am

I wasn't much of a salesman then! I wasn't a pitchman-----that came later although oddly enough not with magic. I started with non magic products and it wasn't until I had been doing that a while that I discovered that magic was a grafting line as well. Anyway, in Gamages I was merely an employee in the magic department. However, since there were only two employees there I may well have sold you something. Harry Baron himself never served anyone over the counter. He just stayed in the back office all day.

Dave Le Fevre
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » December 3rd, 2019, 4:47 am

In those days, you wouldn't have needed to be a salesman for me to buy magic. I'd read the Gamages and Ellisdons catalogues and hand over my money.

Bought a Trilby Deck from Gamages. No corner rounding. So I assumed that Svengali Decks were cut equally crudely. It was some decades before I discovered that they weren't.

performer
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby performer » December 3rd, 2019, 6:15 am

Oh, for years I sold svengali decks without corner rounding. For a long, long period I had to make them myself before all the Oriental ones appeared. At the beginning of my career there was no problem since I bought them from Ron MacMillan who imported all the decks from Czechoslovakia. However, when that came to an end I had to make them myself. At one point in Dublin I sold so many that I had to hire two students working day and night to make them in their homes and of course the cards had no rounded corners. After all I wasn't particularly worried if the punters were getting value for money and in fact I would be horrified if I thought they did. I do have to protect the secrets of magic, after all. My philosophy in these matters are that svengali decks are only for buying and selling. I really don't care if they work when people get them home.

And then the Chinese svengali decks came out and all my manufacturing problems were solved after many years. I didn't have to make the bloody things any more. Of course when I worked in North America I didn't have to make them anyway since I had a supplier in Canada that I made a very good deal with. He had done some kind of deal with Marshall Brodien I know not what and ran a TV Magic Cards promotion in Canada which, unlike the Brodien one was a complete flop so he had thousands upon thousands of svengali decks on his hands after the TV campaign fizzled out. I did a deal with him and I was virtually his only customer. It took me 15 years to get rid of them but get rid of them I did. Which was quite a feat since I only sold them at Christmas in Canada and not every Christmas either. They occasionally show up in antique shops nowadays at around five times the price I sold them at.

Beautiful packaging and I still keep a few on hand for sentimental reasons. Here we are: (I am greatly amused at the price!)

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/6375610 ... s&ref=sr_g

Dave Le Fevre
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Dave Le Fevre » December 4th, 2019, 5:19 am

Were I flogging Svengali Decks from a stall, I wouldn't dream of corner rounding.

But this was Joe Stuthard's Trilby Deck (the Bi-Co Trilby Deck, in fact), so I'd assumed that it was marketed by Joe Stuthard.

No problem with the omission of corner rounding. No spectator ever mentioned anything. I'm merely observing that, in consequence, the concept of corner rounding didn't occur to me.

performer
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby performer » December 4th, 2019, 9:33 am

Nowadays when the cards come already made by the manufacturer the cards are always rounded. It was only when I had to make them myself with my own guillotine that the corners were not rounded. I had to make them myself for many years until the Chinese cards came out. I would often get my staff to make them. To this day I still make the Dutch Loopers myself. I don't bother with that silly flap thing which is quite unnecessary.

Leo Garet
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby Leo Garet » December 4th, 2019, 11:58 am

I had the Bi-Co Trilby. It came with a photo-instruction booklet. It was full of "standard" Svengali stuff plus a section on Trilby. There was a photo of Joe Stuthard on the inside cover and as I recall all the photos were of Joe's hands.

A Christmas present on mail order from Hamleys, it was half of a two-pack compendium of card tricks, or some such, and came in a double size leather card case. One side was the Trilby in a regular cardboard case; the other "Pack" was a mixture of fake cards of all sorts also in a cardboard case. A separate booklet was included for these gems.

The cards were Alf Cooke, but not the Harry Stanley design I mentioned previously.

performer
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Re: Vernon Cups: Myth?

Postby performer » December 4th, 2019, 2:10 pm

Harry Baron and Joe Stuthard formed Kaymar Magic which is still in operation today (with different ownership). The name "Kaymar" was a combination of the two founders wives names thus "Kay" and "Mar" (for Margaret). I think at one point Stuthard sold svengali decks in Gamages. International Magic was just down the street from Gamages and Harry Baron and Ron MacMillan worked very closely with each other at various times. I strongly suspect that Stuthard's svengali activities may well have had an influence on Ron who in the early days virtually built International Magic on the svengali deck. I have always said that if there were no svengali deck there would have been no International Magic. And of course I learned the svengali deck from Ron MacMillan so you can all blame him if you want.

Incidentally both Ron and Stuthard were fantastic svengali grafters (or if you want to use that silly Americanism "pitchmen")


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