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Postby dat8962 » Jul 2nd, '09, 00:29

The Effect

From Collectors Workshop comes a world-class effect, and a brilliant version of the Keys to Baldpate. One of the true classics of mental magic.

Effect: Five different colored keys are placed in a strikingly beautiful antique, hand-crafted, gold inlaid brandy snifter and passed through the audience. Four members freely select a key, leaving one for the performer. Keys may be exchanged among spectators and performer. Finally, one key remains in the goblet, this key going to the performer.

The spectator's each try their key to no avail, the performer's key is now inserted and it OPENS the lock!

It's a reputation-maker. To be sure, some marvelous versions of this effect exist on the market today. Some rely on batteries and radio transmission. Others have incorporated locks that were well-gimmicked, but were small and insubstantial, as compared to the spectacular effect. This lock is a world-beater. No electronics, no switches of any kind. It is one hefty piece of work weighing almost two pounds. It is a heavy, polished chrome padlock of imposing construction. And, when it opens, at the peak moment of dramatic tension, it literally 'springs' open with a resounding snap!

Comes complete with keys, lock and detailed instructions. Use your own brandy glass.

Photo here:


$89.50 - currently around £60 at the current exchange rate.

Ordered through Merlins of Wakefield (

(1=easy to do, 2=No sleights, but not so easy, 3=Some sleights used,
4=Advanced sleights used, 5=Suitable for experienced magicians only)



While there are lots of padlock and key effects on the market, a lot of what I have seen has been poorly made and to be honest I've always resisted buying one because of the cheapness of the finish.

This one is different. You get exactly what is described - a monster of a padlock in polished steel that wouldn't look out of place in a high security setting. This lock looks the business and is the most professional looking padlock that I've seen to date.

What's more - it can be freely handled - with the keys by the audience!

Another factor in buying this is that there is very little difference between the price of the Hemmingway lock and the cheaper locks that I've seen so if like me, you like your props to look the business then I don't think that you will find much better.

The Hemmingway lock comes with a routine which suggests using the padlock to secure a box but it will need to be one hefty box to match the look of this lock. Personally, I'm going to get some steel chain and experiment with an escapology type routine.


Not cheap but well worth the money in this case, particularly when you compare it to the competition at a similar price level.

I now need to find a nice but old looking glass vase for the keys.

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It's not really an optical illusion - it just looks like one!
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Postby Replicant » Jul 2nd, '09, 00:57

Another great review. Thanks. That is one solid-looking padlock.

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Postby dat8962 » Jul 2nd, '09, 01:54

You couldn't imagine a padlock being more solid.

if you're after a high security padlock then I recommend Abloy - I use these at work at around £130 per lock.

The Hemmingway is every bit as sturdy with that extra bit of you know what :wink: .

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Postby magicdiscoman » Jul 2nd, '09, 02:10

I had a version of this and would have the audience pick a key from a bowl as they came in amonst other keys, then at the end of the show everyone with coloured keys would come up one by one and check there key after some by ply of swapping each others keys to see if it would open the woden box.
at the end my key opened the box and beside my lunch was a piece of paper detailing who had which colourd key and the prediction word made up that evening, a bit of double writing and a switch, much fun had by all. :D


Postby Sleightech » Jul 5th, '09, 09:51

I have to agree, it's well worth the money. Compared to some of the rubbish that's sold (for what you actually get), I think it a reasonable price. more of my opinion here:

NOTE, you'll have to cut and paste them into your browser as directly clicking on them shows nothing? Perhaps due to differences in PHB2 and PHB3 software??? As directly clicking on them adds in amp; in the location. ... 95#p317895

and if anyone's interested, and requires something smaller: ... 10#p440110

both top notch pieces.

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