Blog posts written by Magicians and Mentalists of The Magic Network Community.
Well, thanks guys for your looks and Andrew for your suggestion you were nearly on it.
The mystery item is in fact a 'change Tray' for sponge. I have to thank both Andy at Alkazam Magic UK & the very patient man at the MAGIC CIRCLE London who inspite of my rather dippy description managed to locate a very similar object in their collection dating form the thirties.
A very similar item is still available today to do a dice to ball transposition, though from what I have seen leaves an awful lot to be desired in the construction department, definitely won't stand up to the riggers of performance and look as good as this one in thirty years.
You would show a large sponge ball and the tray both sides, then in turning the tray would then release one of the traps to release x number of tiny sponge balls, whilst vanishing the larger ball. I am sure there would be many other uses using sponge including the dice to ball I mentioned earlier.
Anyway I just thought I would let everyone know what it was, I love buying stuff through auction, you really never know what is going to turn up sometimes, but its fun finding out though.