Han Ping Chien and the Chinese Mysteries


Han Ping Chien (1891–1930) was a magician, born, raised and trained in China, who came to the U.S. to tour American vaudeville in the wake of the success of Ching Ling Foo and his many imitators. His elaborate family act, performed with authentic costume and settings, was known as the Chinese Mysteries Troupe.

Han’s illusions included the “The Rice Box”, “Multiple Silk Productions”, “Appearing Chinese Parasols” and his most famous “Production of Water Bowls”, in which he produced tall stacks of bowls full of water from under a cloth. And then there is the trick that continues to bear his name, the Han Ping Chien Coin Magic Move demonstrated here by a contemporary magician:

To find out more about the variety arts past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold. And don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.


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