Memento Mori Black Edition - The Haunted Billet Switch Locket
The Gothic billet switch masterpiece is back! Memento Mori Black is the latest addition to the Relics from the Ragged School range and is one of the most versatile props available for the bizarre magician, mentalist or storyteller; in fact any performer who wants to add that eerie edge to their repertoire. It is also designed to perfectly integrate with other Lebanon Circle classic such as From Hell and The Ragged School Slates (see below for more info).
Memento Mori – the Haunted Billet Switch Locket is an elegantly devious prop that will integrate into any show. Featuring over 80 iconic portraits from the Victorian period and beyond ranging from the Captain of the Titanic to the Jack the Ripper suspects and his victims, from Vernon to Houdini, the Elephant Man to Lillie Langtry, H.P Lovecraft to Crowley – if you have a theme to your show Memento Mori will fit it.
This new improved version comes in a choice of two designs in cold cast bronze set in an aged locket on a Gothic lace choker and presented in a large dusty jewellery case.
The Basic Effect
The premise is simple – a spectator folds a blank billet and places it inside the locket. The locket is closed and the spirit of the chosen icon is asked to leave a message. Once opened it can be revealed that blank billet now contains a message from beyond the grave.
Reveal predictions or demonstrate psychic ability
You take a billet, write a prediction on it and place it inside the locket. You ask a spectator to hold the locket and think of a number, you then open the locket, tip out the billet and it contains the exact number the spectator chose!
Make a billet vanish and reappear in another location or substitute the vanished billet for a palmed one. The possibilities are limitless.
If you’re familiar with billet routines you will be all too aware of what an invaluable performance tool this is.
The ingeniously compact mechanism is self working, fool proof and takes no practice to perform.
Choose from the follow locket images -
- Edward John Smith – Captain of the Titanic
- Little girls with dolls x5 variants
- Generic Victorian Women x9
- Generic Victorian Males x4
- Victorian Post Mortem images
- (mixed ages and gender) x5
- Children x5
- Family Groups x3
- John Merrick – The Elephant Man
- Madge Kendal
- (Victorian actress and friend of John Merrick)
- Two Headed Baby
- Sir William Crookes
- Daniel Dunglas Home
- The Fox Sisters
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Ripper Victims
- Elsie Wright & Francis Griffiths (Cottingley Fairies)
- The Romanovs
- Harry Houdini
- HP Lovecraft
- Clowns x2
- Man with Vent Doll
- Queen Victoria
- Jack the Ripper suspects
- Edward VII
- George V
- Lillie Langtry
- Sarah Bernhardt
- Edwardian women (various)
- Edwardian men (various)
- WWI soldiers (German and UK/US)
- Manfred von Richthofen (Red Baron)
- Harry Price
- Alistair Crowley
Relics from the Ragged School
The Memento Mori Black locket can be also used as a Foundling Token alongside The Ragged School Slates as part of a heartbreaking and atmospheric performance.
Mothers who gave their children to the Ragged School were asked to ‘affix on each child some particular writing, or other distinguishing mark or token, so that the children may be known thereafter if necessary’. Since some babies were renamed on admission, a system had to be created whereby a returning mother was able to be reunited with the baby she had handed over to the care of the Hospital. Between the 1740s and 1760s the procedure involved a swatch of fabric being cut from the baby’s clothes and then cut in half; one half was attached to the child’s admission paper or ‘billet’ on which was written the child’s unique admission number, while the other half was given to the mother. By keeping the swatch and remembering the date her baby was admitted, a mother could provide the Hospital with the information needed to identify the child.
However, in the event that the little piece of fabric was lost or the date of admission forgotten, mothers also left an object unique to them – a token – as a means of identification. These everyday items range from found objects such as coins, medals and jewellery, to personalised items created for this purpose such as poems, needlework and inscribed medallions. Pennies are some of the most common tokens and these were frequently personalised with engravings, inscriptions and punctures to ensure they were not mistaken for another’s. Once the admission information was taken the billet was folded up and sealed with the token, never to be opened unless a claim was made, meaning these little fragments of maternal hope were never seen by the children.
“I was taken up to the Picture Gallery and ... Mr Nichols, the school Secretary wanted to see me before I went into hospital … beside the pictures on the wall were two or three showcases… there was nothing to say what it was, but I knew instantly what it was. There was all little tokens in there ... bits of ribbon, lockets, buttons, bits of material, bits of tickets, coins ... I knew instantly that these were things that … mothers had left to be able to identify their child by ... I suppose they all hoped at some stage … I was just transfixed by this ... I kept wondering what my mother had left with me. Not realising, at that stage, that that system had finished years before … It was just a heart-breaking moment.”
Robert Cox, former pupil
Not only will you be able to contact a foundling from the Ragged School by using the Spirit Slates, you'll also be able to reunited that child with the token and message that was left by their mother centuries ago.
You'll also be provided with an aged portrait of a Victorian female that will match one of the female portraits in the From Hell deck, specifically one of the ladies who luckily avoided Jack the Ripper. This provides you with a great segue from a performance of From Hell to The Ragged School. The Ragged School was situated less than 2 miles from the Whitechapel area of London and it is beyond doubt that many children with 'working mothers' ended up as foundlings there.
As with all Lebanon Circle effects Memento Mori comes with absolutely everything you need to personalise your locket and start performing straight away.
Memento Mori Black includes –
- An aged locket with a choice of cold cast bronze appliqué (Skull or Cherub)
- An aged locket box
- 81 locket pictures
- An aged Victorian female portrait
- A video tutorial link
Locket box and lace choker designs may vary.
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Shipping is currently 2-3 weeks but could be sooner depending on how busy the studio is.