Archive for June, 2015

Stay Out of the Heat, Read a Good Book

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2015 by hocuspoc

It’s been a busy week and I think the heat is getting to me, so I’ll keep this really short since I’m a man of few words today.

The Edward Moylan Estate was launched this week and it was quite a success. In fact, we continue selling items, so if you’ve NOT had a chance to check out the collection just click on the image below.

The Owen Rapping Hand is still available for those in the market.

The Owen Rapping Hand is still available for those in the market.

Summer Heat is Frying Us Alive

The summer heat is here to stay, so there’s no more complaining. But, boy does it ever make it difficult to keep the garden alive with the stifling heat. There are some plants that are clearly NOT going to make it. Today in Fresno the high is 106 degrees!

Wherever you are this weekend, be sure to stay cool and hydrated.

Wherever you are this weekend, be sure to stay cool and hydrated.

I’ll be working in the yard all weekend, but I will be taking several dunks in the pool for maximum survival. I know it’s HOT everywhere, but just look at our forecast for the next two weekends.

Our bacon is being fried on a daily basis by high temperatures.

Our bacon is being fried on a daily basis by high temperatures.

Books, Books & More Books!

If you’re like me, I grew up reading magic books – it’s a generational thing. The younger set have been fed a steady diet of magic on DVD, so they seem to have less of an appreciation for books. But, if you’re from my generation, books are right up your alley. I mention this because we’ve been busy putting up a large cache of books just received on consignment.

That makes TWO massive collections of books that we’re listing on the site simultaneously. There’s a boatload of titles to chose from. Be sure to check out some of the latest listings by clicking on the image of LIFE, DEATH & Other Card Tricks below.

Life, Death & Other Card Tricks by Robert E. Neale is one of the many books just listed.

Life, Death & Other Card Tricks by Robert E. Neale is one of the many books just listed.

And as Long as We’re Talking Books…

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the best books on the performance art of magic, Performing Magic by Tony Middleton. It’s now marked down to 70% OFF retail, so there no better time to purchase this extraordinary tome.

Performing Magic by Tony Middleton - Book - 70% OFF!

Performing Magic by Tony Middleton – Book – 70% OFF!

I promise next week’s blog will be beefier.

As always, have a great weekend my friends.

More news later,

Paul

 

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Summer Means Workshops, Vacations and Learning to Pack

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2015 by hocuspoc

Another busy week here at Hocus Pocus. Tim’s out performing at local libraries as part of the Summer Reading Program for the Fresno Public Libraries and my sister Jan has been out all week on vacation having rented a Monterrey beach house, so we’re a bit shorthanded.

This year, the Fresno Public Library is having Tim teach magic workshops for kids rather than his customary magic shows and Tim says…

“Although I love performing, the workshops are technically easier than performing magic shows — much less equipment to tote in and out — and a bit more fun, sometimes. The kids are super enthusiastic about learning, very creative and they especially love getting up and performing tricks they’ve just learned just minutes prior.”

The response from librarians has been extremely positive.

The response from librarians has been extremely positive.

Jan we’re glad you got to spend some much deserved quality time on the coast with the family in beautiful Monterey, but we sure have missed your expert packing abilities, especially Cole. Cole’s been filling in for Jan temporarily this week learning one more aspect of the magic business — the ins-and-outs of how to become an expert packer.

And, although Cole’s done a fine job, I think he may be looking forward to his Aunt Jan’s return to take back the reigns of expert packer & shipper.

My sister Jan and her family enjoying their family vacation at a beach house in Monterey.

My sister Jan and her family enjoying their family vacation at a beach house in Monterey.

 

Okay Jan, I'm glad you've had a good time in Monterey, but we're ready for you to come back. Please!

Okay Jan, I’m glad you’ve had a good time in Monterey, but we’re ready for you to come back. Please!

It’s true, standing all day to pack orders can become quite tiring, if you’re not used to it. And as a result, Cole’s gained a deeper appreciation for Aunt Jan’s expertise. Thanks goodness she’s back next Monday morning!

Edward Moylan Estate to Commence Thursday

We’re working fast and furiously to get the many items listed in the collection of the late Edward Moylan. This estate is slated to go live next Thursday, June 25. At least for the moment, that is our projected launch date of this unique consignment. We’ll keep you updated should anything change.

As previously stated, Mister Moylan’s estate includes rare and discontinued apparatus from such top-of-the-line manufacturers as P & L, Thayer, Owen, Abbott, Haenchen and Silk King Studios.  Items ranging from close-up to stage and most in absolute pristine, never-used condition.

Bedridden having sustained an injury while working for the B&O Railroad as a youth, Edward Moylan developed his interest in magic while reading a magic book, a gift from a friend.

Bedridden having sustained an injury while working for the B&O Railroad as a youth, Edward Moylan developed his interest in magic while reading a magic book, a gift from a friend.

One very interesting note, Moylan began his adventure into the Art of Magic as a youth having sustained an injury while working for the B&O Railroad. While recovering in the hospital, a friend gifted him a simple magic book to pass the time, never knowing that the simple gift would spark a life-long interest in collecting and performing as an amateur magician in his native Baltimore.

Funny how one simple act, the gift of that book, can impact the course of one’s life. If only we knew WHAT book. Perhaps it was Houdini’s Book of Magic and Party Pastimes.

We're now counting the days until we launch this estate sale -- next Thursday.

We’re now counting the days until we launch this estate sale — next Thursday.

Also included will be several rare and out-of-print books, by such authors as Caveney, Albo, Charvet and Steinmeyer…..some from the private collections of Doug Henning and Ken Griffin.

There will also be photographs and ephemera, some from the Harry Blackstone Jr. estate.

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Look for the JOIN NOW button on the right side of the page.

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day of all our customers and friends who are fathers.

FathersDay2015

My son Cole will be celebrating his first father’s day as a dad since Clark’s arrival and we will be celebrating it with a pool party and bar-b-que with all the kids at our house.

First-time daddy, Cole will be celebrating Father's Day with little Clark for the FIRST time.

First-time daddy, Cole will be celebrating Father’s Day with little Clark for the FIRST time.

I hope you too will have a wonderful Father’s Day with you and yours.

As always, have a great weekend my friends,

More news later,

Paul

 

Something for Nothing

Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2015 by hocuspoc

Hey, good news! Thanks to several improvements we’ve made to our website & systems of late, we are now able to expedite the entire delivery process for downloading magic to a fraction of the time that it used to take.

In the past, our method was less far less sophisticated than we liked and it could take up to 24 hours to receive an email containing a link to the download. So, “Instant Download” was not altogether an accurate term. However, with this new system, our customers can be viewing their videos within a very minutes time on a mobile device or computer.

Try Our Quick And Easy Downloads!

Care to test-drive our system by trying a download? To introduce our customers to our new and improved system, we are offering several different downloads at absolutely no cost to you.

Try our newest FREE downloads by CAGEY from the Omega Mutation and COAT an except from Cameron Francis by clicking on either of the images below. If those don’t float your boat, our FREE magic category contains over fifty FREE downloads.

 

CAGEY - A FREE effect from the Omega Mutation 3 volume set. Enjoy it as a FREE DOWNLOAD!

CAGEY – A FREE effect from the Omega Mutation 3 volume set. Enjoy it as a FREE DOWNLOAD!

 

This is one of the many great effects on Cameron Francis' Out of Sleight! Enjoy it as a FREE DOWNLOAD!

This is one of the many great effects on Cameron Francis’ Out of Sleight! Enjoy it as a FREE DOWNLOAD!

Another Consignment Nears

As mentioned in last week’s blog, we are honored to have been chosen to represent the Edward Moylan Estate by his family.

This amazing collection includes rare and discontinued apparatus from such top-of-the-line manufacturers as P & L, Thayer, Owen, Abbott, Haenchen and Silk King Studios.  Items ranging from close-up to stage and most in absolute pristine, never-used condition.

I thought I would be nice to give readers of this blog a preview of some of the props and collectibles contained in this estate. So, here they are:

Owen-Rapping-Hand

 

The Excelsior Coin Pail

The Excelsior Coin Pail

 

Custom Presentation Wand

Custom Presentation Wand

 

Owen Thayer Tumbler Pedestal

 

The Loring Checker Mystery

The Loring Checker Mystery

 

Nickled Transformation Vase

Nickled Transformation Vase

Also included will be several rare and out-of-print books, by such authors as Caveney, Albo, Charvet and Steinmeyer…..some from the private collections of Doug Henning and Ken Griffin.

Elliott's Last Legacy.  Card Tricks And Conjuring

Elliott’s Last Legacy. Card Tricks And Conjuring.

 

Houdini's Book Of Magic And Party Pastimes

Houdini’s Book Of Magic And Party Pastimes

There will also be photographs and ephemera, some from the Harry Blackstone Jr. estate.

And a truly one-of-a-kind item….an original Alan Wakeling automaton.  The first automaton made by Alan after he retired as Mark Wilson’s Creative Director.

Owen Rapping Hand

Owen Rapping Hand

Remember, this is just a sampling of what’s in the Moylan Estate, so STAY TUNED as we near the launch date of this remarkable estate.

Always on the look-out.

Always on the look-out.

Can We Be of Assistance?

We are always on the lookout for quality pre-owned magic props, so if we can be of service to your or someone you know, please give us a call and we will gladly assist.

Also, if you’re not on our email list, take a moment and sign up to receive updates and information about our productions and pending estate sales.

Click on the image below and look for the JOIN NOW button on the right side of the page.

A Kiwi Hypnotist Visits

This week we had a visitor, Guy Cater from New Zealand, stop in to visit at a mutual friend’s highest recommendation. Our mutual friend is Paul Romhany. We had a great short visit and give him the nickel tour to his utter delight.

Guy was passing through on the way to perform his hypnosis show at a graduation night in Novato California. Guy spends most of his time in New Zealand, but each year he travels to the US to perform at college & high school graduation parties touring & performing at dozens of venues.

We were remiss in not getting a shot of Guy in the showroom (sorry Guy), but here’s his picture from his website.

Guy Cater, the only Kiwi hypnotist to headline in Las Vegas!

Guy Cater, the only Kiwi hypnotist to headline in Las Vegas!

Guy Cater is a Kiwi, born and raised in Howick, New Zealand and now lives with his two teenage daughters in Titirangi. He has been performing professionally for well over 20 years beginning his show business career as a children’s magic clown … HAPPY THE HOBO, then moving into compere (emcee to Americans) and comedy work.

Guy gained a Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy in 1980, but decided that clinical work was not for him and began using his hypnotic techniques and skills in his Comedy Act, later developing his act into a full-evening show.

Over the years, improving upon his skills and continuing to enhance his show, Guy received many awards including  Best Children’s Entertainer, 17th New Zealand Magic Convention (1981), the Golden Benny , the most prestigious and highest Award of The New Zealand Variety Artists Club (1995), and a Life Membership Award of New Zealand Variety Artists Club and inducted into their Hall of Fame (1997).

Hopefully, one day I can catch Guy’s act.

Thermometer-537x358

We’re planning on staying indoors and near the pool this weekend.

The temperature to tomorrow is supposed to reach 106, so any yard work is going to have to happen early to escape the Fresno heat.

Have a great weekend my friends.

More news later,

Paul

 

Mural, Moylan & More

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2015 by hocuspoc

This week, more interesting things have come our way.

We’ve been awaiting the arrival of a custom Dai Vernon wall mural that was painted at Dean Dill’s request by an artist friend. When we visited Dean’s Shoppe to pick up his estate, upon seeing the mural, we thought, “What a shame, we’ll have to leave it here.” Luckily, shortly thereafter I realized it could be directly cut from the drywall and framed for posterity.

Why leave such a unique relic of one of magic’s most revered coin magicians to be painted over by the next tenant?

And THAT is precisely what happened. Here is more information on this unique piece.

Dean’s Shoppe Dai Vernon Wall Mural

Acquired from the estate of Dean Dill, the actual Dai Vernon artwork by Neil Saavedra that was hand-painted on the wall at Dean’s Shoppe.

DESCRIPTION: This mural is the actual artwork that was hand-painted by Neil Saavedra and lived on the kitchen wall at Dean’s Shoppe on Verdugo Road in Glendale, California for so many years. We actually had the drywall piece cut from the wall, so we know it’s the real McCoy.

In early 2002, artist and friend Neil Saavedra painted this mural of the late, great Dai Vernon, “The Professor” on the kitchen wall of Dean’s Shoppe in Glendale California. Dean had a profound reverence and respect for Dai Vernon and desired to have Vernon’s image depicted in his barber & magic shop.

Look at the size of this wall mural! This piece is ideal for magic historians or Dai Vernon aficionados.

Look at the size of this wall mural! This piece is ideal for magic historians or Dai Vernon aficionados.

Dean Dill and Saavedra were close friends, so when Dean asked Neil to create a special centerpiece of his newly acquired shoppe, Neil happily obliged. Saavedra created a number of signs and images in Dean’s Shoppe, but this mural was something very special to Dean as the Professor was very important role model and mentor to so many.

The mural was painted by Saavedra over several few nights while hanging out with Dean, playing guitar and cracking jokes as they often did. The mural oversaw many a late-night session of card-carrying magicians sharing and interacting as they gathered at the kitchen table at Dean’s Shoppe.

The painting was created by first doing a sketch of the famous Dai Vernon image, then projecting it on the wall — black acrylic paint was utilized to finish the piece.

Other artworks Saavedra created for Dean was the design of the Dean’s Shoppe sign, his business cards, his catalogue, the Houdini sign recreation, and all of his ads and many of the packaging designs for his effects, including the original art for Dean’s Box.

Artwork Dimensions: 61-inches tall, 40.25-inches wide and 2.5-inches deep; weight 80 lbs.

On the back, photos and written background of the piece. A nice touch that will preserve the history of this unique artwork.

On the back, photos and written background of the piece. A nice touch that will preserve the history of this unique artwork.

On the back is a written history of the piece written by Saavedra as well as photographs of Dean and Neil in the kitchen with the piece shortly after its completion. Also included is a montage of photos of Dean’s famous appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

This artwork is an undeniably unique relic and most certainly a conversation-starter for years to come.

A sturdy, long-lasting frame was constructed for this 80-pound art piece.

A sturdy, long-lasting frame was constructed for this 80-pound art piece.

This one-of-a-kind Dai Vernon art piece will hopefully oversee many NEW late-night magic sessions as a new generation of magicians share the Art with each other in a den, studio, game room or special place in your home or business.

Condition: Excellent – framed under Plexiglas in a black painted wood frame with a single white mat.

Announcing the Edward Moylan Estate

Just arrived and soon to be made available on our site, the Edward Moylan Estate.

This amazing collection includes rare and discontinued apparatus from such top-of-the-line manufacturers as P & L, Thayer, Owen, Abbott, Haenchen and Silk King Studios.  Items ranging from close-up to stage and most in absolute pristine, never-used condition.

Also included will be several rare and out-of-print books, by such authors as Caveney, Albo, Charvet and Steinmeyer…..some from the private collections of Doug Henning and Ken Griffin.’

There will also be photographs and ephemera, some from the Harry Blackstone Jr. estate.

And a truly one-of-a-kind item….an original Alan Wakeling automaton.  The first automaton made by Alan after he retired as Mark Wilson’s Creative Director.

Stay tuned for updates and a release date via email. If you’re not on our mailing list, be sure and get signed up by clicking on the image below. You will be directed to the home page of our website. Look for the Daily Updates section (right side, midway down) and sign up or become a member by clicking on JOIN TODAY link just above it.

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Original Thayer Spirit Painting

Another consignment prop we picked up from Alan Zagorsky was this original Floyd Thayer Spirit Painting.  It is obviously a collector’s piece, but this rare bird is a sterling example of magic from yesteryear, reminding us of a simpler time, before television and more sophisticated forms of entertainment.

Upon inspection it's easily seen that Floyd Thayer's handiwork is written all over this circa 1940's prop. A fine collectible magic prop from before the middle of LAST century.

Upon inspection it’s easily seen that Floyd Thayer’s handiwork is written all over this circa 1940’s prop. A fine collectible magic prop from before the middle of LAST century.

The basic effect is simple. A blank canvas is placed into the frame and slowly develops into a painting of a thought-of celebrity. This particular prop came with several celebrities of the day; Will Rogers, General MacArthur and Pope Paul. Sadly, the Will Rogers painting had aged severely, no longer being of any use.

General Douglas MacArthur is one of several celebrities that "magically" materialized on a blank canvas when the spirits we called upon.

General Douglas MacArthur is one of several celebrities that “magically” materialized on a blank canvas when the spirits we called upon.

It’s in really extraordinary condition given its age — circa 1940’s.  All it needs is a new bulb and wiring. Otherwise it’s in really terrific condition. We’ll be putting it up on the website very soon.

Have a great weekend my friends,

More news later,

Paul