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Expanding Cube

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Expanding Die

Expanding Cube is a stage illusion in which a small cube (or die) visibly growns into a large one, which is then lifted to reveal a woman underneath.

This illusion was one of the last inventions of Buatier de Kolta which he premiered in 1903 at the Eden Musée in New York City.

Joseffy recreated the effect in 1908.

The original Expanding Cube apparatus was acquired by Will Goldston whose wife, Leah Goldston ("La Devo"), presented it in England in 1910.

Goldston publish the method, as the "Expanding Die", in his book Exclusive Magical Secrets in 1912.

Houdini purchased the illusion from Leah Goldston and performed it throughout England in 1914. It was then willed to Hardeen. In the 1940s, Hardeen could no longer afford to store his brother's vast collection sold them to a magician named Yadah who operated the Royal Magic Studio in Brooklyn, New York. It was sold to Edgar Pelkin, a full-time professional. Pelkin eventually decided to sell the die and advertised it in Genii Magazine which was spotted by collector Milbourne Christopher who purchased it.[1]

John McKinven made a copy in the 1970s, which he presented at the 1979 Magic Collectors' Weekend in Chicago.


  • Small Packages by Jim Steinmeyer[2]