Max and Salli Hapner…

Last week I bought a vanishing birdcage on ebay (apparently I collect cages now?) from a seller that wasn’t a magician. I’ll talk a bit more about the cage in another post when I get a chance to do some research on it, but it’s a less common one. The seller included this Doug Henning autographed Playbill in the box that came with the cage:

I’m assuming the Max and Salli it’s signed to are Max and Salli Hapner. I’m not very familiar with their work, but remember seeing them on the cover of a couple of magic magazines, or mentioned in them. From my research this week, Max had a collection of Vanishing Birdcages, so it would make sense that the autograph coming with the cage would reinforce the idea that the autograph was to the Hapners.

It appears Max passed about 10 years ago, and I only found one video of him online, which is him doing The Multiplying Bottles for Stevens Magic Emporium:

One of the fun things about knowing some magic history is that I was immediately able to connect the name on the program to the magic act. One the cover of the Genii Magazine above they are doing their bubble appearance, which according some of the people I’ve talked to the last week was a really amazing trick!

The last year or so I’ve been working with the vanishing bird cage trick. I used to do it a long time ago, and at one point even did the Tommy Wonder version with the sleeves rolled up. The vanishing bird cage is one of those tricks that I keep revisiting. Currently it’s in the … Continue reading “”

The last year or so I’ve been working with the vanishing bird cage trick. I used to do it a long time ago, and at one point even did the Tommy Wonder version with the sleeves rolled up. The vanishing bird cage is one of those tricks that I keep revisiting.


Currently it’s in the show and I’ve been doing essentially Billy McComb’s Slow Motion Vanishing Bird Cage. The main difference is that I’m doing it fast, just under the cover of the sheer scarf. I think the scarf adds a little bit to the vanish. Yes, it takes away from the instant vanish, but also adds a bit of other options as to where the cage could have gone.


Last night I stumbled upon a video of Tommy Wonder doing his vanish with the scarf:

I like this better than when he does it uncovered.

One thing that the scarf does is that it gives the audience a moment to process what’s happened while you show the sheer scarf empty and let’s their brains get caught up.