Thursday, August 26, 2010

Street Magician • Tom Frank

Street Magician • Tom Frank, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.

Monday, August 23, 2010


What can I say? These are drop dead gorgeous cups! Rings and Things II is da shit! They are now, and always have been. A name synonymous with quality, hand crafted, magical apparatus. As a matter of fact, my very first set of cups and my first set of linking rings were both Rings and Things back in the late 70's.

I wasn't till the early 80's that I switched to the Charlie Miller Cups from Magic Inc. By then, I had absorbed enough Cellini influence to start mutilating sets of cups and balls. I would go through a set a year. While studying under Cellini, I learned that by banging on the cups you excite an innate, primal force within people. The percussive sound might be compared to the beating of a drum, or the beating of your heart, and naturally draws an "audience" to it. It is a proven fact that once you start banging on the cups, people will cross a street or a crowded square to see what all the "commotion" is about.

After the extinction of the Charlie Miller cups, I endeavored to recreate them, with one modification, I made them MUCH stronger. Instead of just using copper, I had them combined with a metal alloy making them the strongest cups ever made.

A few years back I was contacted by RnT II. They were interested in reproducing the Phoenix Cups. I agreed, with several stipulations. I wanted them to fix every issue and complaint I ever got on the cups. They wobble, The lip isn't rolled all the way in etc. . . Funny, in all the years of using the Charlie Miller Cups I never thought of those as issues. They were just cups. These days a new breed of cup collector demands a higher level of quality.

Rings and Things II leads the pack when it comes to the manufacturing some of the best and widest selection of cups in the world! I wish I owed a set of each, someday I will. The first thing I noticed when handling the PHOENIX II CUPS • COPPER • ANTIQUE BRONZE FINISH was the heft! These cups got some freaking weight! I always said I like a cup you could kill a man with. They fit the hand perfectly and to be quite honest, they are a perfect set of cups in every regard. Striking to look at, a dream to work with and the blackened bronze interior, a striking contrast.

Donnie Buckley is the new owner of RnT II and operates out of the Cleveland area. Thanks Donnie for doing such a GREAT job on this (and every set of your cups) you lovingly and magically make appear before our widened eyes and big smiles. Keep up the fantastic work!



The Phoenix II cups are the newest generation of the original Ross Bertam style of cups. Charlie Miller made this cup style famous when he released his version of this cup decades ago thru Magic Inc. and called it "A Man's Cup". He called it that because the cups were hefty and fit well in the hand. That cup was recreated by RNT and resurrected as the "Phoenix Cup" and is still available from Tom Frank. This cup is an improvement on the Phoenix Cup and now holds a tennis ball size load and accomodates 3 1" balls on the saddle when the cups are nested. Durng the redesign we decided to build the cup from the ground up to be spun in heavy .064 copper and that modification tightened up the tolerances on the cup so there is absolutely no unnecessary wobbling when the cups are stacked - they nest firmly but don't stick. What was at one time "A Man's Cup", is today a very serious, heavy weight, masculine cup for the discriminating performer who wants a little piece of history AND all the modern advancements one has come to expect in a cup.


Each cup is hand spun from the original RNT II tooling in heavy .064 copper with a luxurious exterior Antique Bronze finish and hand highlighted. Each cup has a final clear coat applied to seal in and protect the Bronze finish. The interior of each cup is bronzed black.


Weight per cup: 7 oz average
Weight per set: 1 lb 5 oz average
Stack Height: 5 1/4"
Cup Height: 3"
Cup Inside Diameter: 2 13/16"
Cup Inside Height: 2 3/4"
Saddle Diameter: 2 1/8"
Dimple Diameter: 2"
Dimple Depth: 1/4"

Recommended Balls

All Purpose: 1" Balls
2 Ball Nest: 1" Balls
3 Ball Nest: 1" Balls
Load Size: 2 1/2" Balls (Tennis Ball).


3 Phoenix II cups
Deluxe Velvet Bag (XL)

CODE: 30267
List price: $399.99
RnT price: $349.99

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another day at the office

Street Magician • Tom Frank, originally uploaded by Dai Vernon.