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[1800-1899]

The magic textbook that was primarily written for the adult magician started in the US with August Roterberg in the late 19th century. Before that magic books were either written primarily for a juvenile audience or were of expository nature where the intent was mainly to reveal rather than to teach.

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New in [1800-1899]Hot ListHot AuthorsBestsellersTop RankTop Reviews
 
    Parlor Tricks with Cards by Wiljalba Frikell    The Expositor by William Frederick Pinchbeck    Lorento's Wizard's Guide by Lorento    Magicians Own Book by Wiljalba Frikell    The Secrets of Stage Conjuring by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann    The Black Art or Magic Made Easy by Author Unknown    Tricks with Cards by Professor Hoffmann    The Autobiography of an Old Sport: Fifty years at the Card Table by Harry P. Dodge    Gamblers' Tricks With Cards Exposed and Explained by Jonathan H. Green    Koschitz's Manual of Useful Information by Koschitz    The Book of Modern Conjuring by R. Kunard    Magic Up To Date by William Henry James Shaw    Tricks and Diversions with Cards by Professor Miller    W. H. J. Shaw Catalog 1893 by William Henry James Shaw    Conjuring Contretemps by Anonymous    Roterberg Catalog 5 by August Roterberg    Roterberg Catalog 1 by August Roterberg    The 52 Wonders: Cards Manipulated by Science by C. H. Wilson    History of Magic and Magicians by Hardin Jasper Burlingame    Mahatma Volume 3 (Jul 1899 - Jun 1900) by George H. Little    Mahatma Volume 2 (Jul 1898 - Jun 1899) by George H. Little    Mahatma Volume 1 (Mar 1895 - Jun 1898) by George H. Little    The Secrets of Conjuring by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann    Hellerism by Harry Hermon    New Era Card Tricks by August Roterberg    Latter Day Tricks by August Roterberg    The Modern Wizard by August Roterberg    More Magic by Professor Hoffmann    Modern Magic by Professor Hoffmann    Mahatma by George H. Little    Sleight of Hand by Edwin Sachs

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Parlor Tricks with Cards by Wiljalba FrikellThe subtitle reads: Containing explanations of all the tricks and deceptions with playing cards. Tricks with cards performed by skillful manipulation and sleight of hand; by the aid of memory, mental calculation, and the peculiar arrangement of the cards; by the aid of confederacy and sheer audacity and tricks performed by the aid of ingenious apparatus and prepared cards. The whole illustrated, and made plain and easy.

The first section of this book is identical with the card section in The Secret Out.

  • PARLOR TRICKS WITH CARDS
    • General Rules for Amateurs
  • PART I: TRICKS WITH CARDS PERFORMED BY SKILFUL...
2018 / 9 / 17
$10.00
£8.01
€8.96
Ca$13.59
Au$14.15
¥1149.88
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The Expositor by William Frederick PinchbeckA series of letters, between an unidentified friend and his correspondent (William Frederick Pinchbeck) comprising of how to train a pig, invisible lady and acoustic temple, philosophical swan, penetrating spy glasses, several magic tricks, such as how to catch a bullet, and reflections on ventriloquism.

This book includes the first known description of the "Eight Kings" card stack.

  1. Method of teach the Pig – from Letter I. to IX. See also Letter V. Appendix
  2. Principles of the Acoustic Temple – from Letter IX. To XIV. See also Letter II. Appendix.
  3. A Demonstration of the philosophical...
2018 / 8 / 20
$6.00
£4.81
€5.38
Ca$8.15
Au$8.49
¥689.93
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Lorento's Wizard's Guide by LorentoThis is a fairly typical magic book from the 19th century. It mixes magic tricks and illusions with science experiments. Due to the fact that back then many did not have a basic understanding of physics and chemistry, many of these exhibitions of science appeared like magic.
  • How to Cut Your Arm off without Hurt or Danger
  • The Basket Trick
  • To Knock a Tumbler Through a Table
  • To Drive One Tumbler Through Another
  • The Dancing Skeleton
  • To Place Water in a Drinking-glass Upside Down
  • The Faded Rose Restored
  • The Protean Liquid
  • Eatable Candle Ends
  • To Make a Watch Stop or Go at the Word of Command ...
2018 / 7 / 13
$5.00
£4.01
€4.48
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Au$7.08
¥574.94
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Magicians Own Book by Wiljalba FrikellThe authorship of this book is not entirely clear, but Frikell is a likely author of at least good parts of the book. However, most likely it is a compilation of material from different sources with potentially a number of editors and compilers. Some of the other names associated with this book are H.L. Williams, George Arnold, Frank Cahill, and John Wyman, Jr. The book covers not only magic tricks of various kinds, but also a lot of what we would call today "kitchen table top experiments" in fields ranging from mechanical and chemical to optical, math and others. It also features a section...
2018 / 7 / 13
$10.00
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&

The Secrets of Stage Conjuring by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor HoffmannTranslated by Professor Hoffmann.
  • PREFACE
  • CHAPTER I. The Theatre Of Robert-Houdin
  • CHAPTER II. A Conjuror’s Stage Arrangements
  • CHAPTER III. Handkerchief Tricks
  • CHAPTER IV. The Light And Heavy Chest
  • CHAPTER V. The Hundred Candles Lighted By A Pistol Shot
  • CHAPTER VI. The Ghost Illusion
  • CHAPTER VII. The Indian Basket Trick
  • CHAPTER VIII. Spiritualistic Manifestations
  • CHAPTER IX. The Bust Of Socrates
  • CHAPTER X. A Curious Effect In Acoustics
  • CHAPTER XI. The Decapitated Speaking
  • CHAPTER XII. The Protean Cabinet
  • CHAPTER XIII. The Feats Of The Davenport Brothers
  • CHAPTER XIV. The Enchanted...
2018 / 2 / 17
$5.00
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The Black Art or Magic Made Easy by Author Unknown
  • TRICKS WITH CARDS
    1. How To Make The Pass
    2. The Long Card
    3. To Produce a Particular Card without Seeing the Pack
    4. To Call for Any Card in the Pack
    5. The Changeable Ace
    6. The Convertible Aces
    7. The Gathering of the Clans
    8. Everybody's Card
    9. Forcing a Card
    10. The Card hit upon by Guess
    11. Ups and Downs
    12. To Tell The Card That A Person Has Touched With His Finger
    13. The Card Discovered by Touch or Smell
    14. Confederate Cards
    15. The Ten Duplicates, or Cards in Couples
    16. The Turn-Over Feat
    17. The Nerve Feat
    18. To Tell The Number Of Cards By The Weight
    19. To Change the Card by Word of Command
    20. The Card in a Mirror
    21. The...
2017 / 9 / 30
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Tricks with Cards by Professor HoffmannA complete manual of card conjuring. This is not identical to the card sections in Hoffmann's other books such as Modern Magic etc.
  • CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY
  • CHAPTER II. SLEIGHT OF HAND PROCESSES, APPLICABLE TO CARD CONJURING
    • To Make the Pass
    • To Make the Pass with both Hands
    • Single-handed Pass, No. 1
    • Single-handed Pass, No. 2
    • Single-handed Pass, No. 3
    • To Force a Card
    • To Force a Person to Think of a Particular Card
    • To Palm a Card
    • To Palm the Bottom Card of the Pack
    • To get Sight of a Card
    • To Change a Card
    • Hellis' Change, No. 1
    • Hellis' Change, No. 2
    • To Slip a Card
    • False Shuffles
    • The Bridge ...
2017 / 9 / 6
$15.00
£12.02
€13.44
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Au$21.23
¥1724.82
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The Autobiography of an Old Sport: Fifty years at the Card Table by Harry P. DodgeThe record of a career famous for adventure and vicissitude, and in which the jester won more tricks than the gamester.
  • Preface
  • Chapter I: Birth And Early Peregrinations
  • Chapter II: Becoming A Patron Of The Pasteboards
  • Chapter III: Early Times On The Mississippi
  • Chapter IV: Getting A Sobriquet And Meeting Great Men
  • Chapter V: The Turnpikes, The Packets And The Inns
  • Chapter VI: Initiated In The Sons Of Malta
  • Chapter VII: From The Green Mountains To Pike's Peak
  • Chapter VIII: With The Bold Soldier Boys
  • Chapter IX: The Fraternity Of Gamesters
  • Chapter X: To Point A Moral And Adorn A...
2017 / 8 / 9
$5.00
£4.01
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Ca$6.80
Au$7.08
¥574.94
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Gamblers' Tricks With Cards Exposed and Explained by Jonathan H. GreenThis is an unusual mix of contents including magic card tricks, card games and how gamblers cheat at those games, other swindles and scams, a section on dice and cheating at dice games, as well as moralizing against the evils of gambling.

Jonathan H. Green was a reformed gambler, who made a career exposing cheating via lectures, presentations and books.

If you are looking for an edited version and somewhat modernized rendition of this book you can find it here.

  • Chapter I
    • Invention Of Cards
    • Mysterious Trick Of Thirty Six Cards; Telling The Card You Look At Without Seeing The Pack ...
2017 / 8 / 9
$8.00
£6.41
€7.17
Ca$10.87
Au$11.32
¥919.90
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Koschitz's Manual of Useful Information by KoschitzConcerning marks and stamps, portable and fixed devices, manipulation of cards and other matters of interest to lovers of draw.

This is one of the better early books on card advantage play. We can be almost certain that Erdnase read this book.

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Marks And Stamps
  • Watermark
  • Disfigurement Of Edges
  • Nail Impressions
  • Ruffling
  • Roughening
  • Bleaching
  • Crimping
  • Erasing
  • Evaporating
  • Glazing
  • Enamel
  • Acidulated
  • Other Marks
  • Pricking
  • Trimmed
  • Briefs
  • Wedges
  • Strippers Or Humps
  • Scratches
  • Filling And Burnishing
  • Assorted
  • Cut-Off
  • Shading
  • Scrolling
  • Stamped Or Readers
  • Portable...
2017 / 8 / 6
$9.00
£7.21
€8.06
Ca$12.23
Au$12.74
¥1034.89
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The Book of Modern Conjuring by R. Kunard
  • Chapter I: Introduction
  • Chapter II: Dress, Table, Wand, Apparatus, And Stage
  • Chapter III: Tricks With Handkerchiefs
  • Chapter IV: Palming, Passing, And Changing Coins, Rings, And Small Articles
  • Chapter V: Tricks With Coins Not Requiring Apparatus
  • Chapter VI: Coin Tricks Requiring Apparatus
  • Chapter VII: Tricks With Cups And Balls
  • Chapter VIII: Tricks With Rings
  • Chapter IX: Tricks With Hats
  • Chapter X: Tricks With Watches
  • Chapter XI: Tricks With Dice And Dominoes
  • Chapter XII: Tricks With Electricity
  • Chapter XIII: Miscellaneous Tricks
  • Chapter XIV: Spiritualism And Mesmerism

1st edition...

2017 / 7 / 22
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Magic Up To Date by William Henry James ShawW. H. J. Shaw was a magic dealer and apparatus manufacturer in Chicago. Like his magic dealer competitor August Roterberg he decided to write a magic book almost at the same time.
  • Preface
  • The Mystic Percolator
  • Water Into Ice
  • The National Ball Transformation
  • New Spirit Ghost Seance
  • Spirit Bell On Glass Top Table
  • The Spiritual Ring Test
  • The Extinguished Cigar
  • The Charmed Organ Pipes
  • D’Alvini’s Album Trick
  • Lightning, Slate And Blackboard Test
  • The Egyptian Cremation
  • New Hat Fake
  • The Diamond Mystery
  • The Spirit Scribe
  • A Live Hat
  • Changing Decapitation
  • The Wonderful Lager-Beer Glass And Paper...
2017 / 7 / 8
$8.00
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Tricks and Diversions with Cards by Professor MillerInteresting here are not only the many card tricks described but also a section on crooked gambling at the very end.

[Note that pages 11-14 are missing in our original from which this digital edition has been prepared.]

  • Instructions For Amateurs
  • How To Make The Pass
  • Forcing A Card
  • The "Long Card"
  • The Divining Card
  • Deceptive Shuffles
  • To Smuggle A Card
  • To Slip A Card
  • To Carry Away A Card
  • To Place A Card
  • The Ten Duplicate Cards—To Reveal A Person’s Thoughts
  • The Changeable Ace
  • The Convertible Aces
  • The Metamorphosed Cards
  • The Gathering Of The Clans
  • To Tell The Number Of Cards By The Weight
  • To Make A Card Pass From One Hand Into The Other
  • The Card Hit Upon By Guess
  • Ups...
2017 / 7 / 1
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W. H. J. Shaw Catalog 1893 by William Henry James ShawA Chicago dealer who did manufacture his own apparatus.

1st edition 1893, 24 pages.

2017 / 6 / 22
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Conjuring Contretemps by AnonymousThis is a fun and informative article by an anonymous amateur magician detailing various mishaps of magic performances. Along the way we learn the modus operandi of all kinds of illusions, from Buatier de Kolta's vanishing cage all the way to the bullet catch.

This article was originally published in Chamber's Journal of December 16th, 1882.

1st edition 1882, 5 pages; digital edition 8 pages.

2016 / 7 / 27
$2.00
£1.60
€1.79
Ca$2.72
Au$2.83
¥229.98
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Roterberg Catalog 5 by August RoterbergThe title page reads: "Superior, New and Standard Conjuring Tricks, Spiritualistic Manifestations and Books on Conjuring."

Particularly noteworthy are the pages in the back where he reprints quotes and praises from customers who have read his books including John Northern Hilliard and Harry Kellar.

1st edition ca. 1898, 76 pages.

2016 / 4 / 23
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Roterberg Catalog 1 by August RoterbergThis is the first catalog Roterberg issued, titled: "Descriptive Catalogue of the Latest European Novelties in Magic, Second Sight, Anti-Spiritualism".

Noteworthy here is that Roterberg states that he corresponds not only in English but also German, French and Volapük - a universal language created by the German catholic priest Johann Martin Schleyer in 1880.

1st edition ca. 1894, 20 pages.

2016 / 4 / 23
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The 52 Wonders: Cards Manipulated by Science by C. H. WilsonThis is quite an interesting relatively early book on card moves, tricks and cons. It was published in 1877. Some believe that the author C. H. Wilson could be the elusive Erdnase, the author of The Expert at the Card Table, because the S.W.E. Shift is explained in The 52 Wonders.

Chapters are:

  • Chapter I: The Double and Single Passes
    • The Long Pass
    • The Short Pass
    • The Magic Pass
    • The Rolling Pass
    • The Grand Pass
    • The Invisible Pass
    • The Vizard Pass and Change
    • The Circle Pass
    • The Dovetail Pass
    • The Single Short Pass
  • Chapter II: Miscellaneous Passes
    • The Elbow Pass
    • The Side Pass
    • The Monte Pass
    • The Table Pass ...
2015 / 1 / 10
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History of Magic and Magicians by Hardin Jasper BurlingameThis is a reprint of an interesting book from 1895. Mr. Burlingame covers the earliest days of magic, then goes into detail about magic and magicians as they existed in the 19th century. This material is seldom found in magic books of today, but the man who would be a complete magician should know something of the history of the art he follows. Well written and very interesting reading.

1st edition 1895, 1st digital edition 2013, 44 pages.

2013 / 8 / 5
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¥1029.14
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Mahatma Volume 3 (Jul 1899 - Jun 1900) by George H. LittleOn the covers are:
  • F. Robert Lanskail
  • John Hamley
  • John Henricks
  • Hal Merton
  • C. Milton Chase
  • John Whalen
  • Zanzic
  • Walter G. Peterkin
  • Ellis Stanyon
  • The White Yogi
  • J. Witt Dougherty
126 pages

Note: Page numbers refer to those in the PDF files when the collection was assembled. Originally each issue began with page 1.

  1. Mahatma - Volume III, Number I - July 1899 - 12 pages
  2. F. Robert Lanskail - photo & cover story
  3. New Card Tricks - Elliott
    • New Card Reading
    • Mystic Flight of Card
  4. The Modern William Tell - Chas. L. Burlingame - continued
  5. Juggling Tricks - Wm. E. Robinson ...
2009 / 1 / 30
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Tuesday 11 December, 2018
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