Two Forgotten Mixed Props Juggling Combinations

As I’ve poured over the archives of the Museum of Juggling History and the IJA, I’ve noticed a couple of combinations of props that were once quite popular, but which are now more or less completely forgotten. They were both performed by gentlemen jugglers of the late 1800s and early 1900s. You can see both of them below, done by Roberto Paulius. One was the juggling of a small table, a chair, and newspaper on a stick, while the other is juggling a bag, umbrella, and hat.


Bag, Hat, and Umbrella

The trick of juggling an open umbrella,  bag, and a hat was invented by Paul Cinquevalli possibly as early as 1876. Other similar mixed object tricks can be considered a variation of this trick. In fact, the concept of juggling mixed everyday props was invented, or at least popularized, by Cinquevalli. The umbrella, bag and hat trick was later performed by Chinko, whom you can learn more about by clicking here. Like the previous trick, this one was also done by Cancowski.


Willy Jaeger, the father of well-known juggler Jenny Jaeger, had a gentleman juggler act that included the bag, umbrella, and hat juggle.

Willy Jaeger

The trick was also performed by Mr. Arvey, whom you can see illustrated doing the trick below.

Mr. Arvey


This trick appears in The Art of Modern Juggling by Anglo, which was published in 1907. You can see the instructions for the trick below.

The most recent juggler that I’m aware of to perform this trick was the wonderful Topper Martyn. You can see him doing the trick at the end of the following video, but watch the whole thing if you really want to be entertained.

I recently found an online video showing a great deal of Topper’s juggling act, which include the bag, umbrella, and hat juggle as his finale. You can see it by clicking here.

Topper Martyn

Table, Chair, and Newspaper on a Stick

The very difficult juggling combination of a table, a chair, and a newspaper on a stick appears to have been quite popular. My research points to the trick being invented by either the famed gentleman juggler Kara or his close friend and rival Salerno. You can see photos of each performing it below. The second one, featuring Salerno, is courtesy of Steve Rawlings.



In addition to Kara, Salerno, and Paulius, you can see that the famous restaurant jugglers the Perezoffs had a member who performed this feat. The poster below shows him adding in a fourth object, a vase full of flowers. I’m going to assume the addition of the vase to be an artist’s imagination.

The gentleman juggler Cancowsci (real name Jakub Kankowski) was a Polish juggler who was born in 1870 and died in 1963 in the small town of Brok in Eastern Poland. He specialized in these odd mixes of objects and included the table chair, and newspaper in his act.


Another gentleman juggler who performed this trick was Mr. Kelly. You can see an illustration of him doing it below.

Mr. Kelly

Finally, it was performed by the artist known as Edy.

I’m not aware of anyone performing either of these tricks since Topper passed away in 2004. Maybe one of the new generation of gentlemen jugglers will take up the challenge.

David Cain is a professional juggler, juggling historian, and the owner of the world's only juggling museum, the Museum of Juggling History. He is a Guinness world record holder and 15 time IJA gold medalist. In addition to his juggling pursuits, David is a successful composer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and singer as well as the author of twenty-six books. He and his children live in Middletown, OH (USA).

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