If you have not read and learned the magic contained in this book, you are not yet a full-fledged, close-up magician. The magic by John Scarne, Dai Vernon, Bert Allerton, S. Leo Horowitz, Emil Jarrow, Francis Carlyle, Dr. Jacob Daley, Tony Slydini, Ross Bertram, Nate Leipzig, and Max Malini helped shape the art of close-up magic as we know it.
It has often been said that mastering the magic in this book will make you an accomplished close-up and sleight-of-hand artist. In many ways, it contains all the magic you need to build a professional caliber repertoire. Many have earned a living performing these routines and now you can, too.
Includes: 41 incredible routines by 11 amazing artists, a historical introduction and a bonus section with private correspondence related to the Stars of Magic
Using two ordinary decks with backs of different designs, the spectator shuffles one deck while the performer shuffles the other. At no time does the performer touch the spectator’s deck. The spectator cuts his deck three times, each time exchanging a card with the performer. When both ribbon-spread their decks, a miracle is accomplished — each time, the spectator and performer turn up one of the three stranger cards in their decks, the cards turn out to be alike — a knock-out triple coincidence. Both decks are left on the table for examination.
Series 1, No. 3: John Scarne’s Silver and Copper Trick:
The four aces, fairly distributed throughout the deck, are cut to with uncanny accuracy in a new and impressive manner. Few magicians have as yet been privileged to view this extraordinary routine that produces one of the most entertaining impromptu effects in card magic. Dai Vernon also discloses here, for the first time, his own method of controlling cards during the process of cutting. This secret alone is an extremely valuable sleight for which you can find numerous uses in card conjuring.
Series 2, No. 3: Dai Vernon’s Spellbound:
The two red aces are exhibited, one on the top and the other on the bottom of the deck. They are unmistakably inserted into the center of the pack, when “Presto!” they appear on the top and bottom respectively. This action is repeated, and on the third change they become black aces. The black aces, too, are inserted in the center, only to return to the top and bottom. Then one red ace changes to a black ace and one black ace changes to a red ace, and finally all four aces are produced for a startling climax.
Series 3, No. 2: Bert Allerton’s Bamboozle:
The performer exhibits a red ball and a white ball. The red ball is unmistakably wrapped in a silk handkerchief and placed in a glass. The white ball is picked up and held at the fingertips. It suddenly changes into a red ball. The performer then removes the handkerchief from the glass and discloses that the red ball has mysteriously changed into a white ball.
Series 3, No. 5: Jarrow’s Hanky-Panky:
The spectator selects and marks a card on its face with any identifying mark. The performer shows that his right trouser pocket is empty, and then has the spectator return the marked card to the pack. Showing that he has no card in his hand, the performer reaches into his trouser pocket and reveals that a card has arrived there. The spectator is asked to name his card, and the performer shows the card in the pocket to be the selected one bearing the spectator’s identifying mark. The performer openly returns the selected card to the center of the deck, and places the deck on the table or in the spectator’s hand. After showing both hands to be unmistakably empty, he slowly reaches into his pocket and dramatically produces the marked card again.
Series 4, No. 3: Francis Carlyle’s Wrist Watch Steal:
A card is repeatedly placed into the center of the pack and caused to jump invisibly to the top or bottom. Whenever the spectator thinks he is following the magician’s actions, he nevertheless finds that he has been completely bewildered.
Series 5, No. 3: Dai Vernon’s Mental Card Miracle:
Two bewildering slow-motion versions of the Classic Four Ace Trick, wherein the Aces are caused to leave their packets and join the Ace in the fourth packet, one at a time.
Series 6, No. 3: Dai Vernon’s The Travelers:
This routine embodies two different methods of accomplishing a novel transposition of two cards. The effectiveness of the routine depends, in a large measure, upon the proper execution of a new conception of the Double Lift. This sleight is undoubtedly one of the most valuable sleights in the entire field of card magic. Despite its great value, it has one serious drawback which prevents it being used as often as one would like. This weakness is the necessity of getting set. The “get-ready” requires misdirection which many times is impractical when the presentation requires that the sleight be repeated in rapid succession. In order to eliminate this effect, Dr. Daley has evolved the Instantaneous Double Lift, which makes it possible to use the sleight repeatedly without the “get-ready.” Once you master this new method, you will have at your command the only undetectable sleight in card magic that can be done under fire. This routine demonstrates the practical application of this valuable modification of the Double Lift.
Series 7, No. 3: Dr. Jacob Daley’s The Cavorting Aces:
A delightful comedy routine. An audience enjoys participating in a magical effect particularly when the performer takes the spectators into his confidence. This routine provides hilarious entertainment because the entire audience is aware of the modus operandi except for the assistant, who is profoundly mystified by the entire proceeding. In this routine, the performer repeatedly challenges the spectator to guess what happens to paper balls which mysteriously vanish.
Series 8, No. 3: Slydini’s Flyaway Coin Routine: The performer places his right hand on a half-dollar and rubs it on the table with a circular motion. After a few moments, the rubbing motion is stopped, the right hand is lifted, and the coin is gone. The left hand, which has been resting on the table, is then lifted, revealing the coin under it. Again, the performer starts rubbing the half-dollar on the table with his right hand. Amazingly, a dime makes its appearance from under the fingers in place of the half-dollar. Upon raising his left hand, he finds the missing forty cents under it–a quarter, a dime, and a nickel.
Double-Cross: A coin is caused to penetrate the hand.
Coin Assembly: Simple in plot, this effect of Leipzig’s is baffling in the extreme. A pack of cards is divided into halves and the face up bottom cards of each half mysteriously change places!
Leipzig’s Pride: After having six or seven cards selected, the pack was spread face down all over a table top. While blindfolded, Malini would successfully stab each selected card in turn on the point of a penknife. The last time he thrust the knife in amongst the scattered cards, he would push the knife into the table top through one last card which allowed him dramatically to tip the table over towards the audience. All the other cards would cascade onto the floor, the chosen card pinned to the table as to a target. When the card was plucked free, it proved to be the last selected card.
Malini’s Own Color Change: A lesson in artistic card handling. The performer comments on how amusing it is, to onlookers at a poker game, to watch the average player inspect his hand. He demonstrates this by slowly fanning five cards he holds. He shows the ten, jack, queen, and king of the same suit. With the “hope that springs eternal,” he carefully squeezes out the last card. Lo and behold, it is actually the ace of the same suit. As so often happens in such cases, nobody opens the pot. Of course, when it comes to his turn, he opens but nobody stays. He shows his wonderful hand and receives the usual sympathy. Not wishing to part with this beautiful hand, he decides to perform a Monte trick. Turning the ace and the ten face down in the fan, he places one of them on the table and asks the other players to guess which it is, ace or ten. They all guess correctly. It is the ace. As he again turns up the ten spot he remarks, “Well, that time you did not bet any money. I’ll wager that if I turn down these four cards — the ten, jack, queen and king and give them a cut or two, you cannot pick out one of the picture cards. And you have three chances to one in your favor. A picture you win; a ten you lose.” Holding the four cards, backs towards the players, several make small bets. However, they all lose because all four cards prove to be tens and the picture cards have completely disappeared. The cards, of course, are inspected and found unprepared in any way.
Lesson 1–Tony Slydini:
The Art of Using the Lap as a Servante: book is considered by many to be the best book ever written about close-up magic and features some of the best creations from the leading magicians of the first half of the 20th century. Originally released by Stars of Magic, Inc. as separate manuscripts that sold in the 1940s and 1950s for around $5 each, they were later bound in a hardcover edition by Louis Tannen, Inc.
41 incredible routines, 11 incredible artists, 378 professionally enhanced photographs, 176 pages, paperback. Features a new historical introduction and a bonus section with private correspondence related to the Stars of Magic. Mastering the magic in this book will make you an accomplished close-up and sleight of hand artist.