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Modern Coin Magic

by J. B. Bobo
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Modern Coin Magic by J. B. Bobo

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Some regard this book as the bible of coin magic. And it is indeed packed with moves and tricks. To be precise, there are 116 coin sleights and 236 coin tricks. If you consider adding a coin trick to your program look no further. This is the book for you. Any other book about coins references this one.

Paul Fleming wrote:

This is a book to delight the hearts of amateur magicians which means, of course, most members of the magic fraternity - because nearly all of the performing done by amateurs is, almost inevitably, close-up, impromptu magic; and coin conjuring lends itself particularly well to that type of entertaining. Indeed, except for The Miser's Dream, there are scarcely any coin tricks of sufficient magnitude to qualify as really effective stage magic, suitable for audiences of considerable size. But, as Mr. Bobo's book amply demonstrates, there are scores of baffling coin tricks now available for drawing-room performance.

It was not always thus! Early in the century there were no "coin treatises" as such with the single exception of Downs's Modern Coin Manipulation, which had little to offer the amateur (or the professional either, for that matter) but the "continuous front and back-hand palm," a vastly over-rated sleight of very little practical usefulness to most of the magicians who slaved to master it. From Downs to Bobo, we recall only one publication dealing with coin conjuring alone - Jean Hugard's Coin Magic, an 88-page, illustrated booklet which was published by Max Holden. However, there has been a fairly extensive treatment of coin sleights and tricks in such works as Downs's The Art of Magic (pp. 227-271), Gaultier's Magic Without Apparatus (pp. 244-358), Hilliard's Greater Magic (pp. 665-720), Buckley's Principles and Deceptions (pp. 45-136), and several volumes of The Tarbell Course. The coin sections of these famous books are not superseded, but merely supplemented, by Mr. Bobo's Magnum opus, for they contain a good deal of material that is either not treated at all in Modern Coin Magic, or from lack of space is dealt with somewhat sketchily. The author has brought together much that is old and much that is new in coin conjuring; and it seems to us that his chief contribution to the literature of magic lies in his accumulation and effective presentation of recent developments in sleights, tricks, and routines rather than in the comprehensiveness of his undertaking, impressive as that unquestionably is. Certainly there is enough first-class material here to keep an industrious coin specialist busy throughout a long lifetime - so much, so good, and so varied in nature that the book seems destined to head, for a long time to come, the list of works in this branch of legerdemain.

Physically, Modern Coin Magic is a thing of beauty. It is a professionally-made book of 384 large pages, double column, set in clear type of good size, illustrated with 510 drawings, and handsomely bound in ivory buckram with a gold-and-scarlet title on the spine. To author J .B. Bobo, editor John Braun, and illustrator Nelson C. Hahne, and to the indispensable man in bookmaking, the publisher - in the present instance, Carl Waring Jones - are due the thanks of all to whom the production of a genuinely fine volume on magic is an event of major importance.

The revised and greatly expanded edition of this book is The New Modern Coin Magic.

1st. edition, 1952, Carl W. Jones, Minneapolis; reprint, 1982, Dover Publications, New York; 353 pages.

  1. Dedication
  2. Preface
  3. J. B. Bobo
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Prologue-Of Coins and Conjuring
  6. Scot On Monie, 1584
  7. I: Coin Concealments
    1. The Classic Palm
    2. The Edge Palm
    3. The Thumb Palm
    4. The Downs Palm
    5. The Finger Palm
    6. The Front Finger Hold
    7. The Back Palm
    8. The Back Finger Clip
    9. The Back Thumb Palm
  8. II: Basic Technique
    1. The Bobo Switch
    2. Utility Switch
    3. One-Hand Switch
    4. Shaw-Judah Coin Switch
    5. The Click Pass
    6. The Coin Flip
    7. Change-Over Pass
    8. The Bottom Steal
    9. Producing a Coin from a Spectator's Clothing
    10. Taking Advantage of a Fumble
  9. III: Coin Vanishes
    1. Standard Vanish
    2. Simple Vanish
    3. Over the Top
    4. The Tunnel Vanish
    5. Thumb Palm Vanish
    6. The Drop Vanish
    7. The Bobo Coin Vanish
    8. The Slide Vanish
    9. The Illusive Coin Pass
    10. A Coin Vanish
    11. The Pinch Vanish
    12. Gone
    13. The New Era Coin Go
    14. The Flyaway Coin
    15. Behind the Back
    16. The French Drop (Le Tourniquet Vanish)
    17. The Reverse French Drop
    18. The Elusive Silver Dollar
    19. The Wrist Watch Vanish
    20. The Pulse Trick
    21. The Cranium Vanish
    22. Vanish with the Aid of a Handkerchief
    23. The "Heads and Tails" Vanish
    24. A Trio of Vanishes
  10. IV: Complete Coin Vanishes
    1. The Bobo Complete Coin Vanish
    2. Complete Thumb Palm Vanish
    3. Knee-zy Vanish
    4. Sucker Vanish
    5. Pocket Vanish
    6. With a Handkerchief - Number one
    7. With a Handkerchief - Number two
    8. With a Handkerchief - Number three
    9. In a Spectator's Pocket
    10. Bluff Vanish
    11. Sucker Bluff Vanish
    12. The Coin Fold
    13. The Envelope Vanish
  11. V: Quick Tricks
    1. Through the Leg
    2. Rubbed Through the Leg
    3. Through the Pocket
    4. Through the Hand
    5. Through a Handkerchief
    6. Double Penetration
    7. Pants Leg Miracle
    8. Half Dollar to Quarter
    9. The Charmed Coin
    10. The Coin of Metamorphosis
    11. Coin to Key
    12. Change for a Half
    13. Much from Little
    14. The Topsy Turvy Coins
    15. The Impromptu Mint
    16. Smart Coin Trick
    17. Impromptu Version
    18. The Switchover
    19. The Appearing Half
    20. Coin Production from Two Cards
    21. The Touch of Midas
    22. One to Four
    23. One to Six
  12. VI: Cuffing
  13. VII: The Art of Sleeving
    1. Delayed Action Sleeving
    2. Improved Method
    3. The "Pumpkin Seed" Vanish
    4. Reverse "Pumpkin Seed" Vanish
    5. The Catapult
    6. Judah Method
    7. A Unique Sleeving Move
    8. The Throw
    9. Kort Method
    10. Kirk Stiles Method
    11. A Method of Sleeving one of Several Coins
    12. Dr. E. M. Roberts' Method
    13. Loading
    14. Switching
    15. The Sleeve Pocket
    16. Tricks Using Sleeving
    17. Penetration
    18. Migration
    19. Transposition
    20. Devaluation
    21. Inflation
    22. Transformation
    23. Variation
    24. Dime and Penny for the Wiseacre
    25. A Novel Vanish and Reproduction
    26. The Vagabond Coins
    27. Splitting the Atom
    28. Change for a Dollar
    29. The Stratosphere Quarters
    30. The World's Fastest Coin Vanish and Reproduction
    31. Die to Dime
    32. Almost a Transposition
  14. VIII: Coins Across
    1. Copper and Silver Transposition
    2. Guess Which Hand
    3. Quarter and Half Dollar Transposition
    4. The Curious Nickel
    5. Two Pennies on the Leg
    6. The Inseparable Pair
    7. Coins in the Teeth
    8. The Drop Pass
    9. The Hippity Hop Half
    10. Rapid Transit
    11. Winged Silver
    12. The Flying Eagles
    13. Variation
    14. Three and Three
    15. Chinese Money Mystery
    16. Frank Drobina's Coin Routine
    17. Four Coins to a Glass
    18. The Traveling Centavos
    19. Miracle Coins to the Pocket
  15. IX: Coin Classics
    1. Coin Through a Ring
    2. Silver or Copper Extraction
    3. Copper Penetration
    4. The Expansion of Texture - Expanded!
    5. The Gadabout Coins
    6. The Three Coin Trick
    7. The Bent Penny
    8. Silver Extraction
    9. The Ghost of a Coin
    10. Coins Through the Table
    11. The Magical Filtration of Four Half Dollars
    12. The Sympathetic Coins
    13. The Al Saal Stratagem
    14. The Changing Change
    15. The Coin Roll
    16. The Downs Coin Star
    17. Roll Down Flourish with Four Coins
    18. Downs Eureka Pass
    19. "Eureka" Routine
    20. Rattle Box Routine
    21. Thieves and Sheep
    22. Just Pretend
    23. The Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver
    24. Coins and Cards
  16. X: Coin Boxes
    1. The Okito Coin Box
    2. Coins Through Box and the Hand
    3. Okito Box, Coin and Handkerchief
    4. Routine with an Okito Coin Box and a Silk
    5. Silver to Copper with the Okito Coin Box
    6. The Half Dollars and the Okito Box
    7. The George Boston Combination Coin Box
    8. The German Coin Box
    9. The Paul Fox Coin Boxes
  17. XI: Trick Coin Trickery
    1. Squeeze Play
    2. Jimmy Valentine Picks a Lock
    3. Money Paper
    4. Almost a Transposition
    5. The Homing Coins
    6. The Circus Trick
    7. The 16c Vanish
    8. 85c Through the Table
    9. Copper and Silver Transposition
    10. Presto Chango
    11. The Inferior Coin
    12. Thieves and Sheep
    13. In and Out
    14. Up Their Sleeve
    15. Buddha's Coin
    16. The Stack of Quarters
    17. The Hook Coin
    18. The Magnet
    19. Sundry Gimmicked Coins and Tricks Therewith
    20. Nickel to Half Dollar
    21. Liberty Head Half and U.S. Penny
    22. The Ring Coin
    23. Short Changed
    24. The Marksman
    25. The Squirting Nickel
  18. XII: Shell and Folding Half
    1. The Shell Half
    2. Mystery with a Half Shell
    3. How to Make Money
    4. Three Questions
    5. Coin Through a Glass
    6. Perfected Coin Through Handkerchief
    7. 25c and 50c Transposition
    8. The Peregrinating Halves
    9. Coins Through the Table
    10. The Protean Coin
    11. The Sympathetic Coins
    12. The Modern Miser
    13. The Folding Half
    14. The Half Dollar in the Bottle
    15. The Magic Mint
    16. Biting a Piece from a Coin
    17. Coin Through a Card
  19. XIII: Stage Coin Magic
    1. A Comedy Coin Routine
    2. Coin in the Banana
    3. Coin in Ball of Wool and Nest of Boxes
    4. Flight Three
  20. XIV: The Miser's Dream
    1. T. Nelson Downs' Original Version
    2. Production of any Number of Coins at Finger Tips
    3. To Pass a Coin Through the Knees
    4. The Elusive Pass
    5. New Change-Over Palm
    6. Downs' New "Click" Pass
    7. Downs' New Fan Pass
    8. The Downs' Eureka Pass
    9. The "Turnover" with Forty Coins
    10. To Palm and Make the Pass With Forty Coins
    11. The Miser's Dream
    12. Perpetual Coins
  21. XV: The Stanley Collins Section
    1. T. Nelson Downs
    2. William J. Hilliar
    3. L'Homme Masque
    4. Allan Shaw
    5. Owen Clark
    6. Charles Morritt
    7. Three Coin Monte
    8. The Jumping Sixpence
    9. The Esscee Half-Crown and Wafers Trick
    10. Two Heads and a Tail
    11. The Esscee Front and Back Manipulation
  22. XVI: Routines

word count: 181981 which is equivalent to 727 standard pages of text

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