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Sixteen Thumb Tie Gems

by Max Andrews
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Sixteen Thumb Tie Gems by Max Andrews

The Thumb Tie is a classic that can be done in a number of ways using sometimes vastly different methods. In this ebook you will learn among others the Ten Ichi thumb tie, the Osman thumb tie, the Dunninger tie and variations by Victor Farelli and Max Andrews. You will also read about its history and many other important bits of information which will allow you to perform this classic proficiently.

Paul Fleming wrote:

This little booklet deals with a single trick - The Thumb Tie, in which the performer, despite the fact that his thumbs are apparently tied together securely, manages to catch on his arms several light hoops that are tossed at his bound hands. Since it is seemingly impossible for the magician to separate his hands, the hoops appear to pass directly through the arms. Other tests of "penetration" are presented by some exhibitors of the feat.

Sidney W. Clarke, in his Annals of Conjuring, credits Joseph Pinetti (whom the author of this pamphlet calls "Clip" Pinetti) with the first performance of this trick, more than a hundred and fifty years ago. In the twentieth century, it has had a prominent place in the performances of Ten Ichi (an oriental wizard), Arnold de Biere, Carl Rosini, Frank Ducrot, Paul Rosini, and many others.

Before proceeding with technical explanations of The Thumb Tie, Mr. Andrews gives a short history of the feat, and a few pages on various methods of presentation with special emphasis upon the possibilities of extracting comedy from its performance. But the bulk of the pamphlet is devoted to explaining sixteen methods of doing The Thumb Tie and feats of a similar nature, some of which require the use of special bits of magical apparatus in place of the more customary cord or string.

There are eight ways given for performing the trick with cord, three with tape, two with wire, one with elastic cord; and, in addition, a version with small thumb-stocks and another with metal thumb-screws. This list indicates the types of materials that magicians have found useful in performing the trick, but gives little notion of the ingenuity with which they have worked out new procedures (explained in Mr. Andrews' book) that seemed to them to make the feat either more convincing or speedier in performance, or both.

There are methods described here which depend for their success upon holding the thumbs in a certain position as they are being tied; methods which require the performer to secure a bit of "slack" in the tying process; one method with tape (originated by Frederick Montague) in which "slack" is obtained and held in an unusually deceptive way; another, the La France Thumb Tie, in which "it is not necessary to release the thumbs from the tape"; an improvement on this method, developed by Victor Farelli; a procedure which employs a small metal "fake"; the Ten Ichi method, including a lesson on preparing the paper-wrapped cord that Ten Ichi used; a simple but "nervy" method credited to Joseph Dunninger; two mechanical versions (with "stocks" and "screws"), which are perhaps the easiest of all; and others.

Sixteen Thumb Tie Gems is a booklet with 42 pages of actual text, illustrated with 23 line drawings, well printed on exceptionally good paper, and bound in soft boards. The Thumb Tie is not a "self-working" trick by any means; it demands ability in showmanship to make it truly effective. But so far as the technique of the feat is concerned, we can think of no better source of information than this booklet.

1st edition 1934; original 51 pages; PDF 32 pages.

  • Foreword
  • History of the Thumb Tie
  • Presentation
  • Comedy Stunts
  • The Scissors Tie
  • The "Steal" Method I
  • The "Steal" Method II
  • The "Steal" Method III
  • "EM-AY" Electric Flex Tie
  • "EM-AY" Pipe Cleaner Variation
  • The Tape Tie
  • The "La France" Tie
  • The "La France" Tie (Victor Farelli Variation)
  • The "La France" Tie (Max Andrews Variation)
  • The Gimmick Method
  • The "Osman" Thumb Tie
  • The "Ten Ichi" Thumb Tie
  • The "M.A." Bluff Tie
  • The Dunninger Tie
  • The Thumb Stocks
  • The Thumb Screws

word count: 8275 which is equivalent to 33 standard pages of text

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