"clean conveyance" and "cups and balls" -- not in OED

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Wed Dec 25 23:15:05 UTC 2013

1772 Oct. 19, Pennsylvania Packet, 4/3.  EAN.

"Mr. Saunders ... is allowed to be the most astonishing [sic]
proficient in the art of clean conveyance, that ever attempted an
exhibition of its kind, without descending to the low tricks of cups
and balls, ribbons, &c."

(1)  "Clean conveyance" does not appear in any quotations.  For a
definition, I'm told to see Philip Butterworth, _Magic on the Early
English Stage_ (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005), chap. 3.

(2)  The term "cups and balls", referring to the conjurer's
(sharper's) equipment, is not in the OED.  The earliest quotation is
1733, under "virtuoso" sense 2.a, and the next (of a total of 4
fitting this sense) is 1819.


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