This effect originally called Bloxo, was invented by John Rice and sold by Harry Stanley c. 1950.
Pagoda is the definitive version of the the effect using a solid blade or rod to secure the blocks and was created magnificently by the Dutch master craftsman: Eddy Taytelbaum. Eddy did such an amazing job he inspired many craftsmen including: Alan Warner, Mel Babock, Milson-Worth and more recently Magic Wagon to create their own versions.
Eddy made two sizes of Pagoda and this is the significantly rarer, small version. I say small because his standard version is small (4-1/2″ by 2-3/4″ high and 1-3/8″ deep), this one is tiny (3-1/2″ by 2-3/4″ high by 7/8″ deep). When compared with my previous favorite version created by my good friend Alan Warner this version is dwarfed (see final three photos).
Not only is Eddy’s version exquisite, he uses a different approach to extracting the chosen blocks. Instead of letting the box spin around and have the blocks fall out, in a potentially random and risky fashion, he turns the box around so that all six blocks can been seen and uses a small wand (or in my photos a small metallic cocktail sword) to push out the chosen blocks, leaving the others clearly and unmistakably impaled.
Eddy also supplies a custom color cube to help select the colors completely at random (I am in two minds if you should use that or not since it slows down the routine a little, but it is up to you.)
Most of the versions that come up for auction on Potter & Potter and elsewhere are of the larger version, and it is rare to see this tiny version, but it is great to see it in the collection 🙂
Effect: The front door of an Oriental Pagoda is lifted to show six different-colored blocks inside. The blocks are held in place with a wooden blade that runs through the block’s center. The only way the blocks can be removed is by removing the wooden blade. A small magic wand is also displayed. The rear of die pagoda also has six holes in it so you can see the blocks. The performer removes the blade and dumps the blocks onto the table. The spectator is asked to name the color of any two blocks. The performer places all six blocks back into the pagoda and inserts the wooden blade through the pagoda impaling the blocks. The performer turns the pagoda around so you can see all the blocks through the holes in the rear of the pagoda. The magic wand is now pushed through the holes of the two selected blocks. The two selected blocks are pushed right out of the box, leaving the rest of the blocks impaled by the wooden blade. All may be examined.
Special note: The pagodas Eddy made are true works of art. These pagodas were made in the 1960’s and are made of wood and beautifully painted. The ornate decoration on top of the pagoda was also cut out by hand. The legs and all sides of the pagoda are pinstriped. The Chinese characters on the wooden blade are also hand painted. The edges of the cubes are mitered. The larger pagoda measures: 4-1/2″ by 2-3/4″ high and 1-3/8″ deep. The smaller size pagoda is very rare and measures: 3-1/2″ by 2-3/4″ high by 7/8″ deep. This small pagoda comes with a color cube which is rolled to select the two colors.
(Notice: although Dr. Albo talks about the use of a small wand, I have not seen one provided with any version of Pagoda nor in the photos of different Pagoda’s that appear in Vol. 7 and Vol. 10 of Dr. Albo’s Books. So I am not convinced Eddy ever supplied one with the effect. I have included the neat metallic cocktail sword which works well and seems to be appropriate for the effect.)
(Notice 2: Eddy rarely included instructions with his creations and Pagoda was no different. However, I will include the effect details from Dr. Albo’s book and also the instructions from Alan Warner’s version of this effect called Oriental Blocks.)
(Notice 3: The final 3 photos of Alan Warner’s Oriental Blocks and Pagoda are just there for comparison purposes, this auction is only for Pagoda and does not include the Oriental Blocks effect shown in the final 3 photos.)
Text Source: click for details
(Notice: Includes: Printed Instructions.)( Post Source: martinsmagic.com - click for details )