Le testament de Jérome Sharp
was the third of a series of five books where Henri Decremps (1746-1826), a Frenchman who had studied law, physics and music, would expose the secrets of Italian conjuror Giuseppe Pinetti
(1750-1800) as the result of a challenge. The
most famous book of the series is La Magie Blanche Dévoilée
Le testament de Jérome Sharp is the book that contains by far the largest section devoted to card magic. Several facts make this book of outstanding interest to the students of card magic. First, the section devoted to cards is quite large and more comprehensive than any
other work before (70 pages, from page 73 to 142, with over 30 items and variations thereof), containing effects, presentations, all basic and most advanced techniques of its time, conceptual considerations and historical information. The first part teaches what were at the time considered the basics of card magic and might therefore very well be the first didactical work on card magic. Second, many of the effects described are of professional caliber, being from Pinetti’s repertoire, as compared to the tricks explained in previous books, many of which were mostly for amusement. Third, some effects, techniques and concepts are described in amazing detail, a thing which was not the rule of the day. All of this makes Decremps’s books, especially the Testament, a seminal work in the history of card magic.
Basically this essay is an extended table of contents with some of Roberto's comments. In order to fully understand what is written you don’t need a copy of the original French text (available as ebook), but if you possess one it will be an advantage, although very good French comprehension is required.
1st edition 1998; Revised and updated in 2008 & 2010; 26 pages.
word count: 11757 which is equivalent to 47 standard pages of text