Standing on the performer’s table is a wooden cartouche (or decorated cover). Five slim wooden plaques are arranged in a semicircle in front of the cartouche. All five plaques have the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol of the snake cut into the face of them, and each snake has been lacquered in a different colour. The performer explains that legend has it that this cartouche and its accompanying plaques were discovered among the many sacred artefacts which adorned the burial chamber of the Egyptian Pharaoh Cerastes, the Snake God.
A blank oblong tablet is now displayed and then slid into the cartouche. Next, the snake plaques are turned face-down and thoroughly mixed up, and a spectator selects one of them. The selected plaque is then placed (still face-down) in front of the cartouche.
The performer now goes on to explain that according to the legend of Cerastes the Snake God, his spirit lives on within the cartouche, and that to prove this, his spirit will make a prediction and carve it into the blank tablet within the cartouche.
First the performer turns the selected plaque over to reveal the colour of the snake, then he removes the tablet from the cartouche. The tablet is no longer blank! ENGRAVED ON THE TABLET IS A SERIES OF COLOURED EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHS which the performer translates for the spectator, assuring him that the message reads that the spirit of Cerastes has correctly predicted the colour of the snake chosen by the spectator. The spectator, having no idea if this translation is correct, is naturally not too impressed, and indeed the performer admits that he was only joking about this, and that the message on the tablet, if he translates each hieroglyphic symbol in turn, actually reads, ‘TURN THE TABLET OVER FOR THE PREDICTION’.
Turning the tablet over, the performer reveals that its reverse side has the sign of the snake cut into it and that THE COLOUR OF THE SNAKE MATCHES THAT OF THE SNAKE ON THE PLAQUE SELECTED BY THE SPECTATOR.
BEAUTIFULLY HANDCRAFTED APPARATUS
The teak, hand-polished cartouche stands 11.5 cms high and is decorated in relief with coloured hieroglyphs and the squatting figure of the Egyptian Pharaoh Cerastes, the Snake God. The tablet measures 10.2 x 4.5 cms. The size of the snake plaques is 4.5 x 3.5 cms. SIGN OF THE SNAKE is a delightful piece of tabletop magic apparatus which will create immediate spectator interest. Complete with The Alan Warner Routine and the fictional legend of Cerastes the Egyptian Snake God by Mignon Warner.