Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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misc:thread_tricks [2019/07/05 15:42]
misc:thread_tricks [2019/07/05 15:42]
stephenminch
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 +====== Thread Tricks ======
  
 +Thread and hair have been used as a method for animation, suspension and levitation for centuries, in both the West and East. Explanations of early tricks using a strand of fine hair from a woman to cause a blown egg or coin to move, and to suspend a coin in the air are given in a late fifteenth century notebook by Thomas Betson, a monk at Syon Abby in Middlesex. This notebook is at St. John's College, Cambridge, MS. E.6, according to Richard Kieckhefer in //​[[http://​askalexander.org/​display/​32864/​Magic+in+the+Middle+Ages/​103|Magic in the Middle Ages]]//, 1989, p. 91.
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 +Japanese and Chinese conjurers used hair and strands extracted the cocoons of silk worms in a variety of ways. The head-to-floor double anchor arrangement is described in several nineteenth-century Japanese books. Various objects are used: paper cut-outs and folded figures, chopsticks and even some heavier items, such as fans and bowls (the latter may have been lightweight fekes).
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 +The old Japanese texts referred to the effects created as “dancing”,​ which indicates the type of animation. Some of the illustrations show objects levitating off the floor, although the path of movement is not entirely clear.
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 +One of the earliest Japanese descriptions of tricks done with thread is in //​Senjutsuya Hanraku// (The Hermit’s Nighttime Magic), a book published c. 1755. The next-oldest reference is in //Hiji Hyaku Sen// (A Hundred Secrets), from 1827.
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 +{{tag>​prop principle}}