The 'Spy Shell'

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BarryAllen
Posts: 135
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 6:33 am
Favorite Magician: Joe Riding & Chan Cansta.
Location: Nuneaton England

The 'Spy Shell'

Postby BarryAllen » September 29th, 2022, 5:15 pm

Https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/284488715585

Nice try by this UK seller. Read the description - he's knocked a Grand off as well - so you're getting a bargain! :D

Wonder if he ever finds a folding coin? The mind boggles as to where he thinks a 'Spy' would have hidden it!

Edward Pungot
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Joined: May 18th, 2011, 1:55 am

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby Edward Pungot » September 29th, 2022, 5:45 pm

I recall seeing these accoutrements mentioned in John Mulholland‘s manual for the C.I.A.
See also the Errol Morris dramatized documentary on the LSD / MKUltra experiments (Wormwood).

There is also a wonderful effect utilizing this gimmick that was a favorite of Vernon’s according to testimony in the The Vernon Companion by Perovich. The effect can be found in the hardbound Tarbell Course of Magic.

BarryAllen
Posts: 135
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 6:33 am
Favorite Magician: Joe Riding & Chan Cansta.
Location: Nuneaton England

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby BarryAllen » September 29th, 2022, 6:42 pm

Looking at this particular gimmick, I don't think it would have fooled any Nazi/Gestapo captors do you......unless they had extremely bad eyesight.

Frank Yuen
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Winfield, IL

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby Frank Yuen » September 29th, 2022, 6:47 pm

Not saying his valuation is correct but it actually is two hollowed out halves so he might be telling the truth.

BarryAllen
Posts: 135
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 6:33 am
Favorite Magician: Joe Riding & Chan Cansta.
Location: Nuneaton England

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby BarryAllen » September 30th, 2022, 6:11 am

Frank Yuen wrote:Not saying his valuation is correct but it actually is two hollowed out halves so he might be telling the truth.

How are you working that out then Frank, from those 4 photos?

The description doesn't say that BOTH coins are hollowed out either.

It just looks like a shell and a reduced insert to me?

BarryAllen
Posts: 135
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 6:33 am
Favorite Magician: Joe Riding & Chan Cansta.
Location: Nuneaton England

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby BarryAllen » September 30th, 2022, 7:01 am

Update: The seller has now reduced the price from £2 Grand to £95 quid overnight.....AND changed the description.

Must be a reader of the Genii Forum! :D

Frank Yuen
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Winfield, IL

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby Frank Yuen » September 30th, 2022, 8:59 am

From the first two photos you can see that both the tail side and the head side are shells.

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 30th, 2022, 9:00 am

How odd to consider such a thing "spy". Consider what would happen if one wished to ditch the coin by spending it.
There's an Asimov story where a secret item was passed to a doorman as a dollar tip; from back when dollar coins were common.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Brad Henderson
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Location: austin, tx

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby Brad Henderson » September 30th, 2022, 10:57 am

Frank is correct. The first photo shows that one side is hollowed out. The second photo shows the other side is hollowed out as well

Is there a British equivalent of the locking 2.85 trick?

BarryAllen
Posts: 135
Joined: November 15th, 2009, 6:33 am
Favorite Magician: Joe Riding & Chan Cansta.
Location: Nuneaton England

Re: The 'Spy Shell'

Postby BarryAllen » September 30th, 2022, 12:24 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:Frank is correct. The first photo shows that one side is hollowed out. The second photo shows the other side is hollowed out as well

Is there a British equivalent of the locking 2.85 trick?

The first 2 pics could be the same shell though; pic 1 shows the Tail side of the insert; pic 2 the Head side of the insert?

Whoever is right; not that it really matters - as anyone here forking out 95 quid on this piece of tat needs their head tested; the fact remains that's it clearly not very well machined.

Without any provenance (not mentioned) the guy is simply guessing - in fact, he's even now changed the description slightly. I cannot, for the life of me, believe it would have fooled anyone within Nazi Intelligence, had the 'Spy' ever been caught.

I'm wondering whether to advertise some plastic hollow thumbs on ebay - 'as possibly used by 'Spies' in WW2 - to hide their lit cigarettes and tiny silk parachutes'.

I'm just pleased that we had 'Q' heading up design of props within the British Intelligence Service by the time that James Bond came along; or Blofeld and Spectre would now be running the World.

The first UK $2.85 version I remember being manufactured, was by Eddie Gibson in the Mid-1970's - albeit it was the 27 Pence trick (2 x 10p shells, a hollowed 2p and finally a 5p coin that was not only wafer-thin but looked like nothing on this Earth). It had to be cupped in the fingers and more or less covered with the other three coins. I think I've still got it somewhere.


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