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Will Goldston
Annual of Magic 1915-16 by Will Goldston

This is the last book in the 'Magician Annual' series of Goldston. It carries a slightly different title, 'Annual of Magic' instead of 'Magician Annual', but otherwise is kept in the very same style and type of contents as all the other books in this series. Beside tricks, illusions and patter, you will find a lot about magicians of this era. For example the "Who's Who and Why" is an interesting article.

1st edition, 1916, Will Goldston, London; 72 pages.

  • A
    1. Abbott's Spirit Paintings Illusion
    2. Adhering Pips and Blank Cards
    3. Advertise, How to
    4. Advice for the Student
    5. Aeroplane and Trunk...
★★★★★ $7
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Will Goldston
Tricks and Illusions by Will Goldston

This book has an excellent illusion section, a decent chapter about escape artistry and also a fairly large trick section with all kinds of routines with cards, silks, ... The really good part are the illusions. You will find several clever ideas. Will Goldston was himself a craftsman and illusion builder. He can therefore write with authority.

1st edition, 1908?, George Routledge & Sons, London; 259 pages.

  1. Introduction
  2. New Card Catching on Plate
  3. The Floating Disc Mystery
  4. The Devo Torn Card
  5. The Hildyard Target and Cage Illusion
  6. The Handkerchief and Sword
  7. A Dancing...
★★★★ $7
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Jean Hugard
Silken Sorcery by Jean Hugard

You will find 143 magnificent and entertaining uses of silks and handkerchiefs. Sleights, tricks, and the famous Stillwell Silk Act are explained in detail with 90 illustrations. Jean Hugard details vanishing methods, production techniques, color changes, knots, and flourishes. He also describes how to care for your silks to keep them in great shape for a long time.

Paul Fleming wrote:

Tricks with silk handkerchiefs have been very popular ever since their introduction by Bautier de Kolta more than a half-century ago. There is a sound basis for this popularity, for handkerchief tricks are colorful...

★★★★ $3
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Jean Hugard
Coin Magic by Jean Hugard

Coin Magic by Hugard is a great and complete introduction to coin magic. It teaches all the important palms, transfers and utility moves. It is not as comprehensive as Bobo's Modern Coin Magic but quality wise it is on the same level. If you don't want to read the massive work of Bobo try this one by Hugard.

1st edition, 1935, Max Holden; reprint, 1972, D. Robbins & Co, New York; 88 pages.

    1. The Palm Proper
    2. The French Drop
    3. The French Drop - Variation
    4. The Pinch
    5. The Thumb Palm
    6. The Pick Up
    7. Changes
    1. Coin and Card
    2. The Melting...
★★★★ $3
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Harry Leat
Depot Magic by Harry Leat

Just as the last release Magic of the Depots 1924, Depot Magic lines up several dealers to describe a few tricks each. However the most interesting article in this book is by Leo Rullman and is entitled "The Hobby of Book Collecting".

1st edition, 1925, Harry Leat, London; 92 pages.

  1. A Bad Trait.
  2. Liberty.
  3. Introduction.
  4. Two Handkerchief Secrets.
  5. A Colour Study.
  6. Magician's Wax.
  7. The Cigarette Stand.
  8. Magician's Elastic.
  9. His End.
  10. The Magicians Card Box.
  11. The Penetrated Card.
  12. Improved Glass of Water Through Hat.
  13. The Enchanged Tube.
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Harry Leat
Magic of the Depots 1924 by Harry Leat

This book is based on an interesting idea. Line up the best magic dealers and let each one contribute a series of tricks and routines. Not a bad idea indeed. Some of the dealers who participated are Davenport & Co., Gamage Ltd., Hamley Bros., The Magical Apparatus Co., ...

1st edition, 1924, Harry Leat, London; 100 pages.

  1. Introduction.
  2. New Ball Holder.
  3. New Card Drawer.
  4. New Cigarette to Handkerchief.
  5. Triangle Coin Stand and Box.
  6. The New Production Box.
  7. The Vanishing Lamp.
  8. New Coffee Trick.
  9. Productive Candle Shade.
  10. The "New Cut" Card Locator. ...
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Harry Leat
Diversified Magic by Harry Leat

From The Sphinx: Diversified Magic is Harry Leat's latest contribution to magical lore. Diversified rightly describes the contents of the book. The variety is great, the quality superior, the originality genuine. Of the twenty chapters it is difficult to say which is the most interesting, and of the tricks and other effects, which is the best. The Organ Pipe Pagoda, and the Eclipse Ventriloquial Figure are alone worth more than the price of the book. Mr. Leat's introduction is full of matter for serious thought and consideration. The patter for the tricks, and the dialogue for the vent. figure are lively,...

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Harry Leat
Tragic Magic by Harry Leat

An original blurb read: Tragic Magic containing original magical sketches, tricks, some humour, and many interesting items that will grip you.

From The Sphinx: And here is another one that awakens my cereberzation - Harry Leat's Tragic Magic. Here is a book of 122 pages of the queerest conglomeration of sense and non-sense, good magic and irrelative matter - yet relating to magic - that has yet crossed my rugged editorial path. The table of contents lists 42 items, and I advise the purchaser of the book not to skip a single one of them. I do not know why the book is named Tragic Magic, for the magic...

★★★★★ $4
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Harry Leat
Thoughtful Magic by Harry Leat

As Harry Leat writes in his introduction, the tricks in this book are not pocket tricks, but ones which rely on some clever piece of apparatus. Some of his ideas are ingenious and have never been published before. Harry Leat was quite a character and it shows in his creations and ideas.

1st edition, 1923, Harry Leat, London; 111 pages.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Mysterious Box of Parvo
  3. "Bloodless" Writing on the Arm
  4. Improved Card Frames
  5. Mister Makeshift
  6. The Necromantic Mummy
  7. Improved Passe-Passe Bottles
  8. The Only Bug
  9. The Real Magic Funnel
  10. The Travelling Glass
  11. A Magical Accessory
  12. Patter ...
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Harry Leat
Magical Cartoons & Interpolations by Harry Leat

Harry Leat presents a great selection of cartoons with a magical theme, many of which reveal a universal truth. They will make you think, just as they will make you laugh. Harry also continues his stories from Forty Years in & around Magic.

1st edition, 1927, Harry Leat, London; 95 pages.

  1. Truth
  2. Your Mirror
  3. Introduction
  4. A Good Opening
  5. The First "Palm"
  6. "See the Thread"
  7. Not for Magicians
  8. The Flying Candle
  9. Apparatus and Books
  10. Chemical Magic
  11. New Apparatus
  12. A Great Future
  13. Fakirism
  14. Dreams and Reality
  15. Telepathy
  16. Refined Magic
  17. "Uncle"
  18. Mr. Charles Conyers
  19. Mr. Wilfrid Jonson
  20. The Modern Conjurer
  21. The Good Old Days
  22. Circumstances...
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Harry Leat
Forty Years in and around Magic by Harry Leat

Harry Leat describes incidences during his magic life, some odd, some funny, some unbelievable. Often another well known magic celebraty was involved, such as Houdini, Selbit, Trewey, ... This book makes a great read. No tricks.

1st edition, 1923, Harry Leat, London; 77 pages.

★★★★★ $3
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Howard Thurston
Howard Thurston's Card Tricks by Howard Thurston

Thurston explains fundamental sleights such as the Pass, Palm, Force, Change, Back-Palm and his system of expert card manipulation, which appeared for the first time in this book. It also describes a unique gimmick to make the Back-Palm almost effortless.

Thurston also lays claim to what we today call the Si Stebbins stack. He writes that it is his invention but he also thanks Si for his contributions and help.

1st edition, 1903, Henry J. Wehman; 83 pages.

  1. CHAPTER I. A Few Incidents in the Life of Howard Thurston, Premier Card Manipulator of the World
  2. CHAPTER II. Indispensable Sleights
  3. CHAPTER...
★★★★★ $3
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Mike Porstmann
The Big Edge by Mike Porstmann

Mike gave this lecture already twice in the US with great success. He is one of the gambling and cheating-at-gambling authorities in Germany. I liked particularly his 10 card poker deal for the stage, an entertaining piece of card magic for a large audience.

1st edition, 1999, Mike Porstmann, München

  1. Welcome To The Golden Nugget
  2. The Great Joker Game
  3. New York Credit Card
  4. Jokers Always Win
  5. 10 Card Poker Deal
  6. Derby Days
  7. Switchgame
★★★★★ $6
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Harlan Tarbell
Tarbell Post-Graduate Service in Magic No. 1 by Harlan Tarbell

After Tarbell finished his 60 lesson Tarbell Course he decided to continue with post-graduate lessons. The name post-graduate stems from the fact that Tarbell sent out graduation diplomas for all who followed along his 60 lesson course. To my knowledge he only published one such post-graduate lesson. If you know about more such lessons I would be delighted to hear from you.

1st edition, 1926, Tarbell System Inc., Chicago; 33 pages.

  1. Tarbell Post-Graduate Service in Magic
  2. The Original Rope Release
  3. Three Silk Handkerchiefs Released from Ropes
  4. A New Ghost Ring
  5. A Button Off the Vest
  6. The Kick-Back Card...
★★★★ $2
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Donald Holmes
The Magic Art by Donald Holmes

The Magic Art is a book very much in the style of the Hoffmann books. It describes in particular the tricks invented or used by Mr. Holmes. Tarbell calls this book 'excellent' in the Tarbell Course. Holmes was a prolific author who wrote several other titles as well. In this volume he deals with all kind of props from pill boxes to cards, coins, handkerchiefs, gaffed glasses and the list continues.

Paul Fleming wrote:

In 1920, Donald Holmes announced his intention of writing a series of books which were to form "a complete library on the Art of Magic." Unfortunately, he abandoned the undertaking (for what reason we do not know)...

★★★★★ $4
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Jarle Leirpoll
Pocket Power by Jarle Leirpoll

Jarle Leirpoll is one of Norway's leading Stand-Up and Close-Up performers. He received the Norwegian magician of the year award in 1998. You will find effective and deceptive ways to switch, ditch and steal - using only the normal pockets and occasionally a Topit. Several original routines and lots of techniques and ideas are explained in detail, including more than one hundred illustrations. On top of that four video clips are embedded in the ebook which show 5 effects. The chapter about Choreographic Misdirection has been significantly increased over the paper version of this book from 1995. ...

★★★★★ $13
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The Art of Modern Conjuring by unknown

Today we have the Masked Magician exposing magic secrets. Eighty years ago it probably was done by writing a book without the author's name given. I do not know if this book falls in the category 'exposure'. It certainly is a book which clearly reveals a lot of interesting tricks. One is the bullet catch. It has nearly 200 excellent photographs. Card and coin manipulation is dealt with in great detail. Overall a very good book. The photographs is the outstanding part.

222 pages.

★★★★★ $5
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James William Elliott
Elliott's Last Legacy by James William Elliott

Elliott was a very popular magician. Particularly some of his card effects were considered best of its kind. Nobody knew the secrets to some of Elliott's tricks. People waited impatiently for the release of this book. But it was met with some disappointment that not all of Elliott's tricks were described. We do not know which tricks these critics mean. The reason might well be that Elliott died before he could finish his book. Burgess and Houdini had to collect Elliott's notes and fill in some of the missing explanations. However, Elliott and Houdini believed that all the material in this book was...

★★★★★ $4
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Arthur Buckley
Principles and Deceptions by Arthur Buckley

Another great book from Arthur Buckley. He discusses some theoretical aspects of magic and then goes into detailed instructions of moves and routines with coins, cards, and billiard balls. I can highly recommend this book.

1st edition, 1948, Arthur Buckley; original 222 pages; PDF 185 pages.

    1. Photograph of the Author
    2. Dedication
    3. Introduction by Theo Bamberg (Okito)
    4. Foreword by the Author
    5. The Principles of Magic
    6. Manipulation
    7. Substitution
    8. Duplication
    9. Camouflage
    10. Imitation
    11. False Partition
    12. Concealed Mechanism
    13. Falsification
    14. Arrangement
    15. Preparation
    16. Misdirection
    17. Concealment ...
★★★★★ $7
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John Brown Cook & Arthur Buckley
Gems of Mental Magic by John Brown Cook & Arthur Buckley

Another masterpiece from Arthur Buckley written together with John Brown Cook. Only 125 copies were printed, but now again available as a digital download. It comes with an introduction by the great John Mulholland.

This is a collection of 33 extremely practical and entertaining mental routines primarily for stage and parlor. They are all clearly described. There are not that many great books on mental magic. This one is definitely one of them.

1st edition, 1947, privately printed, Chicago; 132 pages.

  1. Preface
  2. Devious Digits
  3. It's A Small World
  4. Astral Addition
  5. Projection
  6. Pennies, Nickles and Dimes ...
★★★★ $5
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Arthur Buckley
Effects with Cards 1 by Arthur Buckley

Arthur Buckley, one of the great sleight-of-hand artists with cards and coins, has written a series of twelve problems. This booklet is number one. It is illustrated by Harlan Tarbell and edited by Gus Moford. Dariel Fitzkee later reprinted these twelve problems in The Card Expert Entertains but used different inferior illustrations. If you have ever heard something about the 'Buckley card problems' this is one of them.

1st edition, August 1921, Magic Products Company, Chicago; 10 pages.

Number One - A Triple Climax

  1. Effect, Brief Presentation and Patter.
  2. Sleights Necessary to Performing the Triple Climax.
  3. The...
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Arthur Buckley
Card Control by Arthur Buckley

This is not a book for beginners. But it is a book that will lift up the devoted student by two or three levels of proviciency in card handling. Buckley, born in Australia, was one of the masters and innovators of card magic. He studied the card gamblers as well as the top magic performers. This book with over 300 photos, of which most have been enhanced by drawing lines over them to increase contrast, and 40 outstanding routines, is a gold mine and challenge for any card worker.

Paul Fleming wrote:

Arthur Buckley's "post-graduate course on practical methods" of card magic, which has been eagerly awaited...

★★★★★ $5
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Florian Laplantif
Laplantif Spelling System by Florian Laplantif

Florian Laplantif developed a card spelling system for all 53 cards (Joker included). If you like spelling tricks, check this one out.

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Arthur Good
Magical Experiments by Arthur Good

The best way of learning new things is doing them. Magical Experiments or Science in Play is a fascinating collection of kitchen table top experiments with every day household goods. Many of which have a 'magical' twist to them, in the sense that it is for the unfamiliar observer not quite clear how these tricks are performed, or what the physical mechanisms behind them are. More than 150 experiments are described with gorgeous lithographs. This book was originally written in French and later translated to English. This in itself is a proof of quality, otherwise the translation would not have...

★★★★★ $7
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