Thu February 9, 2023 06:25 AM CST

P&L Penetrating Glass of Water by Petrie-Lewis, Frank Appleton

(c. 1933)
In stock

Estimated: $315 - $585
*** NO Reserve Price ***
Item condition: Used

Auction starts in:

Auction starts: February 15, 2023 12:00 am

Auction ends: February 17, 2023 7:52 pm

Starting bid: $99.00


(Notice I used a Rings ‘n’ Things liquor bottle to pour the liquid just because it made more sense in the Porcupine to do so, but you could use any container.  Does not come with the Bottle or the Top Hat, but since they are ungimmicked replacement is trivial.)

The method for this beautiful version of this classic effect was invented by Boston magician Frank Appleton and expertly manufactured by Petrie-Lewis. 

P&L and Appleton created the perfect version of an effect that began in Professor Hoffmann’s Later Magic c. 1904 (pg. 91), and was first performed on stage by David Devant (c. 1908) at the Third Annual Banquet of The Magic Circle in London’s Frascati’s Restaurant using a table like the one described by Hoffmann.  The effect continued to be worked on and a tray version became popular c. 1916-1921 including a version created by The Bretma Manufacturing Co. and performed by Louis Nikola c. 1921. Other variations were created during the 1920’s with various pedestals and trays from the likes of Floyd Thayer but it wasn’t until c. 1933  Petrie-Lewis manufactured this version that the effect and method became really practical without a special table or tray.

The original glass that was  shipped with this item is quite small (see the photo with two glasses and a deck of cards for comparison), in addition they supplied an extra gimmick.  I found by using a different (larger) glass, you don’t need to use the extra gimmick and it still looks more impressive because of the larger glass and less fumbling 🙂

When done well it is a real fooler and a very beautiful effect.


  • The beautiful brass candle holder that works perfectly and is the centerpiece of this illusion.
  • Original glass and gimmick (not used in the video).
  • Heavy silk which is constructed quite ingeniously and very high quality.
  • Red Candle (ungimmicked).
  • Extra larger glass that fits perfectly (bonus).
  • Full setting and performance instructions.
  • Use your own hat and bottle or jug to pour the liquid.

Effect: This effect has been acknowledged by all professionals throughout the world as the most effective and astonishing illusion in Magic today. It never fails to elicit applause because of the fact that it has previously been manufactured with a clumsy table, expensive and heavy to carry around.

Therefore, we have, after careful consideration and expensive experimenting, produced the latest, best and most improved mechanism of its kind ever devised. In place of the large and cumbersome table, we use a lacquered, polished brass Candle Stick of an unusually artistic design.

The effect of this beautiful experiment is as follows: An unprepared glass tumbler is filled with liquid and covered with a small handkerchief. The Candle is then extinguished and removed from the candle stick. It is then replaced with the glass and a borrowed hat is placed on top of tumbler-brim upward. The performer commands the tumbler to penetrate the handkerchief, crown of hat, and take its position on the interior of the hat. Thereupon, the glass is seen to slowly de-materialize and pass upward through the crown of the hat. The effect is very mysterious, indeed.

Mere words of explanation are insufficient to describe this wonderful illusion for, slowly and by degrees, these almost unbelievable and astonishing maneuvers become apparent. At the conclusion of this remarkable demonstration of the penetration of matter, the artist instantly removes the glass filled with water from the inside of the hat and it is passed for inspection while the hat is returned to its owner.

The ingeniously constructed apparatus we supply for this experiment is entirely self-working, thus requiring no assistant. Only one glass is used.

(Notice: Includes: Printed Instructions.)

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Auction History

February 15, 2023 12:00 amAuction starting

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