This is a classic in sleight-of-hand magic. From the foreword:
This BOOK is mainly on the art of sleight-of-hand and it is my earnest hope that these pages will afford practical help to both the specialist and the amateur magician.
During the period of over twenty-five years of practical magic I have formed the conclusion that in all conjuring, no matter how cleanly a trick may have been worked, it is the effect that counts.
A magical effect that one desires to "get over" must be definite and surprising. By definite I mean an easily followed plot or routine. By surprising I mean that a climax should be striven for that has not been foreseen by the audience.
It is a rare thing for a reviewer to come across a sizable book on magic which contains only tricks that have been tested by the author, and rarer still for that author to be a prominent professional magician. But this unusual combination is found in The Magic of the Hands, by Edward Victor. "Every effect I have described has at some time found a place in my programs, either impromptu or otherwise," he assures the reader in a foreword. As for Mr. Victor's standing in the world of magic, it need only be said that he is recognized as one of the most skillful sleight-of-hand experts in England.
Both the author's reputation as a manipulator and the title of his book might lead one to expect to find here an emphasis upon sleight-of-hand, and an examination of the book will not surprise him in this respect. He may be surprised, however, at the extent and excellence of the material. There are sleights - many of which are not elsewhere explained in print - with cards, coins, balls, thimbles, cigarettes, cigars, and other articles. And there are a number of very choice complete tricks which, at least in the form in which Edward Victor presents them, will certainly be new to many readers.
There is, for example, A Royal Exchange (a favorite of the late, great Martin Chapender), in which twelve court cards, held in a glass goblet, change places with twelve spot cards placed in another goblet. There is Mr. Victor's own version of The Thirty Card Trick, which consists of passing cards mysteriously from the coat pocket of one spectator to that of another. Then there is A Silver Collection, as performed by the author at Maskelyne's Theatre, London. This charming effect consists, first, of catching four coins, one at a time, and dropping them into a glass tumbler; and, later, of causing the coins to pass separately from one hand into a glass held in the other hand, each coin making its appearance visibly and audibly. There are also The "Super" Sympathetic Silks, first presented by Mr. Victor in Maskelyne and Devant's St. George's Hall in 1913, and described here in an improved form; My Rope Trick, an original cut-and-restored mystery, explained in detail in 16 pages of text and illustrated with 21 line drawings; An Idea for Slates, which is a novel method of concealing messages written on slates; and many other new or improved tricks.
Especially worthy of mention is Supreme Control, a non-sleight-of-hand feat which can be performed anywhere, at any time, with any pack of cards. The procedure is straightforward and clean-cut, and the effect is little short of astounding. This trick alone is clearly worth the price of the book to anyone who performs impromptu tricks. That price, by the way, is the same for the present paper-bound edition as was charged for the original cloth-bound edition of several years ago - possibly because of increased costs in book-making. But regardless of binding, the excellence of The Magic of the Hands (with its 117 pages and 113 illustrations) is so apparent that its readers will be impatient to see More Magic of the Hands, a companion volume which is announced for publication within a few weeks.