Customer rank: +4The collaboration of T. Nelson Downs and John Northern Hilliard produced this wonderful book. Downs was the first to introduce an act with small objects onto the vaudeville stage. He was most famous for his coin manipulation, and in particular for his version of the "Miser's Dream". The Art of Magic covers sleights with cards, coins, and balls, and teaches many tricks and routines with detailed explanations from the master.
The card section in this book was epoch making. It features the first appearance in print of the side steal. Based on the number of pages dealing with card magic this is more a card book than anything else.
Overall a very thorough introduction to magic. Another excellent book by T. Nelson Downs is Modern Coin Manipulation.
This book was rated one of the ten basic books for a working library of conjuring by H. Adrian Smith, historian, collector and owner of the largest private magic library in his time. Other books in this top 10 list are:
1st edition, 1909, Downs-Edwards Company, New York; 2nd edition, 1921; 1980 reprinted by Dover Publications, New York; 348 pages.
Table of Contents
word count: 118529 which is equivalent to 474 standard pages of text