Good question! I can tell you that the oldest trick in the world is still widely performed today, especially by street magicians. It is believed to date back to Roman times when it was known as acetabula et calculi. The literal translation is Cups and balls.
There are now hundreds of variants from the original trick. When I’m table hopping I do a simple version involving a cardboard coffee cup and a ball made of rope. The props are very ordinary but it’s still a great trick and the audiences love it. Sometimes the simple things (or the oldest things) can still be the best!
Take a look at this video of Peter Wardell’s version. I think you’ll agree, he’s very good! There’s also a couple of photos of me doing my version.