- See also: Linking Ring Magazine .
The Linking Rings or Chinese Linking Rings is considered to be a classic of illusion magic. In the traditional effect, solid metal rings appear to link and unlink, pass through each other, form chains and other complex patterns and configurations.
Ching Ling Foo was one of the early performers of the Linking Rings in the form we know today. Speculation about their origin has been made to Turkey, Egypt and the Middle East and as far back as the first century. A painting by Giacomo Mantegazza in 1876 shows a harem girl holding a set of rings above her head.
The number of rings used can vary from two to as many as ten or more. A standard set of commercially available rings typically includes eight rings.
In 1988, Japanese magician Masahiro Yanagida performed his miniature linking rings routine, the Ninja Rings, using four rings that were four and a half inches (or 11.43 cm) in diameter. Since then, the Chinese Linking Rings have also become a favorite performance item for close-up magicians.
A quality set of eight linking rings can be obtained from a supplier of magic props. Most consider eight (8)-inch diameter rings to be the smallest size suited for stage performance, while twelve (12)-inch rings are common; 15" rings are also available, but rarely seen in use. Larger sizes are often constructed from stainless steel tubing for the best combination of durability and weight. Professionals may wish to have a set of larger-diameter rings for use on a stage, or a 'close-up' set of rings in the 4-5 inch (10-13 cm) range.
Many magicians look for rings that make a nice ring tone when they strike each other.
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