Linking Rings at Assembly #31

Indianapolis, Indiana


Continuing The Classics in Magic theme at their January meeting, the Harry Riser Assembly focused on the Linking Rings, which according to legend, is a Chinese invention brought to the west by no less than Marco Polo.  It turned out to be a wonderful, educational and inspiring evening. 


SAM #31 Treasurer, Jay Newby, was the host for the evening.  He did a masterful job of providing history and context for one of the oldest and finest tricks in magic, sharing readings from Blackstone Jr., John Fisherâ??s book on Cardini, Vernon, and excerpts from an entire chapter on the rings from the Tarbell Course in Magic, Volume IV. 


Don Miller started out the performances by doing his version of Shoot Ogawaâ??s  Ninja Rings.  It was entertaining, comical, and great for kids and adults. (Later in the evening Don showed us a variation which he developed using standard size rings and which he calls the â??throw out.â??)  Jack Weigle then did his â??do as I doâ??ta  da!â?? version using 8â?? rings. He said that he got the idea, but not the trick, from watching David Copperfield.  And finally, Taylor Martin demonstrated his â??Chinese Linking Rings of Death!â??  He used steel Italian rings given to him by his father that were at least 50 years old and weigh nearly five pounds!  (His Father never told him how much he paid for them!) During his seven part routine he created a number of geometric designs including a purse, a chair and the Ace of Clubs. 


What followed was a great discussion regarding the magical phenomenon of the linking rings. The discussion included the notion of Dai Vernonâ??s â??the symphony of ringsâ?? which was created in part or whole by Cardini. Who really knows! The simple circular look of the rings punctuated by the characteristic metallic sounds of the trick offer multiple possibilities for individual creativity in presentation. A variety of tips regarding how to handle the key ring (including the various types of key rings) were also shared.


As is his custom, and as a bonus for the evening, Chris Henderson expertly performed another card mystery.  This one he calls the â??Two Deck Coincidenceâ?? which included a flawless rendition of the faro shuffle.



Submitted by: Dale Benson, Secretary

January 2009


Harry E. Riser Assembly No. 31, usually meets the first Monday of the month at 7pm at Mystic Tie Lodge (2nd floor), corner of Illinois and North Street, Indianapolis.