Conjuring Arts is proud to bring you our new PDF Bookstore and, as an introduction, we have partnered with the great Harry Lorayne to be the exclusive dealer of his entire body of work. Every book (a whopping 30 of them) as well as the entire, 20-volume run of Apocalypse, the preeminent periodical on sleight-of-hand magic.
View Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay in a larger map
Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is going to shortly be released in a number of cities! Check the map to find the location nearest you to make sure you don’t miss this extraordinary look into the life of Ricky Jay as well as all of the great footage and stories of many of magic’s greatest and most revered personalities.
Also, if you missed it, Mr. Jay was on The View and The Late Show with David Letterman promoting the film, and you can find the whole episodes on their respective websites and video players. Here is a clip from the Letterman show:
Pr1me Series 001 Second Edition =
- Improved Print Quality
12 decks = $69 (Postpaid! Just $5.75/deck!)
12 decks = $90 ($69 + $21 shipping; Just $7.50/deck!)
12 decks = $94 ($69 + $25 shipping; Just $7.83/deck!)
We are exceptionally pleased to have the opportunity to notify you of the pending release of Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay at the Film Forum in NYC. For fans and students of magic, this is a must see and will probably sell out quickly. Get tickets right away and view the trailer here:
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY MOLLY BERNSTEIN AND ALAN EDELSTEIN
Ricky Jay is a world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor (often a mischievous presence in the films of David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson) — and a performer who regularly provokes astonishment from even the most jaded audiences. DECEPTIVE PRACTICE traces Jay’s achievements and influences, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to such now-forgotten legends as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Featuring rare footage from his 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show) and told in Jay’s inimitable voice, this is a remarkable journey inside the secretive world of magic and the small circle of eccentrics who are its perpetual devotees.
USA • 2012 • 88 MINS.
In the history of magic magazines The Sphinx is special. It was one of America’s first and lasted for 50 years. The Sphinx was indisputably the greatest American magic magazine during our Golden Age of magic. The material, history and general gossip about magic from 1902 to 1952 is astounding and cannot be found anywhere else but The Sphinx.
Because of this The Sphinx has retained a very high value in the world of magic magazines. It’s not uncommon for a complete physical file of The Sphinx to sell for around $5,000. A previous digitization project was offered for sale for $500. Conjuring Arts has completely rescanned and OCRed (makes the text searchable) The Sphinx and we are releasing this on DVD for the astounding price of $49.99 postpaid in the US.
Why so low? We feel that the contents in The Sphinx creates its own indispensable bookshelf of magic knowledge, and because of this, everyone should have and read The Sphinx. This belief led us to decide on a price that everyone can afford.
What’s inside? Charles T. Jordan material, Arthur Finley material, news about every imaginable name in magic from Houdini to Fu Manchu to Richiardi Jr. and on top of that magic secrets that rival the greatest books ever written on magic. Find the first advertisement for Erdnase’s Expert at the Card Table or see one of the beautiful ads made for Dai Vernon’s privately distributed booklets.
Conjuring Arts has offered The Sphinx for years as part of all levels of our Ask Alexander database but some still would like to have this at their offline fingertips.
Why do we call it The Ultimate Sphinx? We carefully went through every volume, scanned it in color and had our computers convert the words to searchable text. We then created the files and also created an electronic index so that you can search the whole thing incredibly fast on your home computer.
In addition to writing by Fu Manchu, Sam Horowitz, Max Holden, John Mulholland and thousands more, here are some examples of how many references you might find:
Houdini – 7253
Annemann – 778
Dai Vernon - 380
Cardini - 982
Hofzinser – 257
Erdnase – 188
Richiardi – 85
Fu Manchu – 362
Charles t. Jordan – 99
Kellar – 3452
Now own the Sphinx for only $49.99 postpaid anywhere in the US ($59.99 everywhere else in the world)!
Conjuring Arts is very pleased to have been featured on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal! Please pick up a hard copy or read the article on line. The online version features extra content including audio and video!
Our 15th issue of Gibecière is our biggest issue ever! As with some previous issues of our journal, we are once again very proud to deliver a long lost manuscript that sheds refreshing light on our history while also unearthing some forgotten treasures.
The Asti manuscript is estimated to have been written somewhere between 1670 – 1730 and, until recently, had been relegated to a storage closet housing a miscellany of things in the Biblioteca di Asti. Someone did discover the manuscript there and deemed it worth being inventoried and catalogued, although they ultimately decided it was not of any major importance.
It was Marco Aimone and Aurelio Paviato who learned of the manuscript and thought otherwise. Just a brief look at the first two items, and they knew they had found a new and important addition to magic literature. Here we find the earliest known descriptions of a sleight-of-hand color change and the under-the-spread force. In addition, there are unique effects described that would otherwise have been lost, as well as early precursors to now-classic effects. The forgotten effects may inspire you to breathe new life into them with modern methods, while the early handlings of classic effects could drive a well-worn plot in new directions.
The manuscript has been painstakingly transcribed by Aurelio Paviato and then translated into English by Lori Pieper and features sections on tricks with playing cards, sleight of hand with other objects and tricks with apparatus, and, finally, tricks, stunts, and experiments. The author has included a plethora of clear and very informative illustrations. Additionally there are a number of tips on handling sprinkled throughout the manuscript that point to some early psychological advantages in use by magicians of the era.
The manuscript has been made as readable as possible and supplemented with numerous annotations by Lori Pieper, Aurelio Paviato, Thierry Depaulis, William Kalush, and Stephen Minch. Further, studies of the history and background for the work have been provided by Donatella Gnetti and Thierry Depaulis.
We think you will enjoy this fantastic window into our history! It should be at our offices near the middle of February (a little late due to the extensive work involved in getting the manuscript ready coupled with setbacks attributed to Hurricane Sandy), and we will be shipping them out to members as soon as we receive them. To insure that you get your copy, make sure that your membership is up to date. Or, if you are not a member, please join by going here. In addition to the journal we offer numerous other benefits, not the least of which is our searchable magic database, Ask Alexander.
The Erdnase 216 deck.
Relatively recently one of our board members found what might be the only existing example of the Bee 216 deck. This was printed by the New York Consolidated Card Company for a period of time around the year 1900, and although the back design appears in catalogs and illustrations, no other complete deck is known. What is even more exciting is that our deck is in mint condition. What this means is that for the first time we can determine exactly what the cards that Erdnase used felt like! For example, the deck is very thin (52 cards is 14.50 mm!) and very smooth (Cambric finish wouldn’t be used until 1910!). Fittingly, Erdnase wrote, “For superior work the cards should be new, thin, flexible and of best quality.”
As many know, Conjuring Arts has produced more than a dozen decks over the last couple of years and each deck has had variations as to production methods, materials and finishing. This is an ongoing effort to create an amazing deck of cards. Most of our previous releases used the Casino grade of paper that is quite a bit thicker than the retail stock. This allowed us to create an amazingly sturdy and durable deck that quickly became favorites of many of the world’s top card men.
Last fall Conjuring Arts started some new experimentation, taking our research in a completely new direction. We did three major test runs at great expense which allowed us to successfully create what we proudly call our Erdnase Finish. This new finish is the thinnest and smoothest card that can be produced at US Playing Card Company. When measured by caliper a 52 card deck is merely 14.5 mm. This combined with a smooth finish (just as all the cards were in Erdnase’s time) creates a deck that feels as close to the 1902 Bee as is possible to make today. The only real difference is that our new reproduction is a bit slipperier than it’s 1902 predecessor. Today the manufacturing process uses a plastic material in coating the paper and 100 or so years ago this was more of a varnish that can no longer be used for cards.
The back design of the Bee 216 is another very interesting thing. Anyone who has studied Erdnase sufficiently has noticed that the illustrations clearly indicate that he was using Bees. This can be seen by the Ace of Spades in Figure (101). On even closer examination of the illustrations, you can see in Figures (see Fig. 75, for example) that the back design is not redrawn but just a squiggle is used. This is very possibly just a shortcut by the illustrator, and this has been our opinion for many many years. But two years ago, on discovering the Bee 216 deck, a new theory arose. What if this design, which matches M. D. Smith’s “squiggles”, was actually the type of card Erdnase used at the time the book was illustrated? We found it intriguing enough to warrant our latest release of the Erdnase 216 deck. A faithful reproduction in both design and feel of what New York Consolidated’s Bees looked and felt like in 1902.
A very limited edition has been produced, evenly split between a tan and green back color.
Member pricing (includes shipping!)(Members must log in for discounted pricing):
1 deck = $6.99 ($4.99 + $2 shipping)
12 decks = $54.99 (Postpaid! Just $4.58/deck!)
144 decks = $574.99 (Postpaid! Just $3.99/deck!)
1 deck = $12.99 ($4.99 + $8 shipping)
12 decks = $75.99 ($54.99 + $21 shipping; $6.33/deck)
144 decks = $704.99 ($574.99 + $130 shipping; only $4.90/deck!)
1 deck = $14.99 ($4.99 + $10 shipping)
12 decks = $79.99 ($54.99 + $25 shipping; $6.67/deck)
144 decks= $754.99 ($574.99 + $180 shipping, only $5.24/deck!)
Non-member pricing (includes shipping!):
1 deck = $7.95 ($5.95 + $2 shipping)
12 decks = $64.99 (Postpaid! Just $5.42/deck!)
144 decks = $699 (Postpaid! Just $4.85/deck!)
1 deck = $13.95 ($5.95 + $8 shipping)
12 decks = $85.99 ($64.99 + $21 shipping; $7.17/deck)
144 decks = $829 ($699 + $130 shipping; only $5.76/deck!)
1 deck = $15.95 ($5.95 + $10 shipping)
12 decks = $89.99 ($64.99 + $25 shipping; $8.75/deck)
144 decks= $879 ($699 + $180 shipping, only $6.10/deck!)
Recently one of our board members found what might be the only existing example of the Bee 216 deck. This was printed by the New York Consolidated Card Company for a very limited time around the year 1900, and although the back design appears in catalogs and illustrations, no other complete deck is known. What is even more exciting is that our deck is in mint condition. What this means is that for the first time we can determine exactly what the cards that Erdnase used felt like! For example, the deck is very thin (52 cards is 14.50 mm!) and very smooth (Cambric finish wouldn’t be used until 1910!). Fittingly, Erdnase wrote, “For superior work the cards should be new, thin, flexible and of best quality.”
The back design of the Bee 216 is another very interesting thing. Anyone who has studied Erdnase sufficiently has noticed that the illustrations clearly indicate that he was using Bees. This can be seen by the Ace of Spades in Figure (101). On even closer examination of the illustrations, you can see in many of the Figures (see Fig. 75, for example) that the back design is not redrawn but just a squiggle is used. This is very possibly just a shortcut by the illustrator, and this has been our opinion for many, many years. But, on discovering the Bee 216 deck, a new theory arose. What if this design, which matches M. D. Smith’s “squiggles”, was actually the type of card Erdnase used at the time the book was illustrated?
This discovery was first revealed on February 26, 2013, the 111th anniversary of the copyright registration for The Expert at the Card Table, on our erdnase.com website.
Conjuring Arts is very proud to be helping to introduce a new era in quality playing cards.
For the last few years we have produced a great number of different decks and, in addition to creating new designs, we have consistently tweaked all aspects of the production. This has allowed us to produce some amazing decks and served to educate us on how cards are made. This has then taught us how we can make them better for magicians, sleight of hand artists and all others who rely on quality and consistency.
Our education has been greatly enhanced by our diligence in trying to locate factories around the world and to test their manufacturing skills and their ability to produce quality cards consistently.
A few months ago we partnered up with Lawrence Sullivan, a fine magician from Hong Kong, to produce a marvelous new deck. Lawrence commissioned Mark Stutzman, the brilliant illustrator and artist famous, in part, for his amazing work with David Blaine’s posters and decks of cards, to produce the new design we call Legends. With Stutzman’s brilliant design and a new card factory in Taipei, Conjuring Arts is extremely excited to be able to offer Legends and to honestly say they are the beginning of the revolution on playing card quality.
These cards have a slip factor and snap factor that makes them perfect for flourishes, shuffle work, deals and more or less all types of sleight of hand. They are different from any other decks we’ve felt – neither like current USPCC products nor like old Jerry’s. They are really amazing. The factory we found produces primarily ultra high quality cards for far east casinos and hasn’t produced much previously in our sleight of hand sector. They are quite thin as well but strong and don’t feel “spongy” like many thin backs do. You will also notice that the white border is much narrower than “normal” cards from the US. This is due to extreme precision printing and finishing and due to this perfect registration the deck has an amazingly balanced appearance. These cards also have a glass like edge, like nothing anyone else has ever released (see image in comparison with a Bicycle deck).
The Legends run was quite short and split over 3 colors. Conjuring Arts is the exclusive sales agent for this deck in the US and we have only about 1,000 decks of each color as our allotment. They are available for sale individually or in sets of 3 (one of each color), 36 (12 of each color), and 144 (4 dozen of each color).
Order now as these are going to go extremely fast.
New photos from Alex Pandrea!:
More images and Pricing:
1 deck = $7.49 (Postpaid!)
3 decks = $17.99 (Postpaid! Just $6/deck!)(one of each color)
36 decks = $169 (Postpaid! Just $4.69/deck!)(12 of each color)
144 decks = $619 (Postpaid! Just $4.30/deck!)(4 dozen of each color)Canada and Mexico:
1 deck = $9.49 ($7.49 + $2 shipping)
3 decks = $22.99 ($17.99 + $5 shipping; $7.66/deck)(one of each color)
36 decks = $212 ($169 + $43 shipping; $5.89/deck)(12 of each color)
144 decks = $729 ($619 + $110 shipping; only $5.06/deck!)(4 dozen of each color)International:
1 deck = $10.49 ($7.49 + $3 shipping)
3 decks = $29.99 ($17.99 + $12 shipping; $10/deck)(one of each color)
36 decks = $231 ($169 + $62 shipping; $6.42/deck)(12 of each color)
144 decks= $779 ($619 + $160 shipping, only $5.41/deck!)(4 dozen of each color)
1 deck = $7.95 (Postpaid!)
3 decks = $19.99 (Postpaid! Just $6.66/deck!)(one of each color)
36 decks = $199 (Postpaid! Just $5.53/deck!)(12 of each color)
144 decks = $699 (Postpaid! Just $4.85/deck!)(4 dozen of each color)Canada and Mexico:
1 deck = $9.95 ($7.95 + $2 shipping)
3 decks = $24.99 ($19.99 + $5 shipping; $8.33/deck)(one of each color)
36 decks = $242 ($199 + $43 shipping; $6.72/deck)(12 of each color)
144 decks = $809 ($699 + $110 shipping; only $5.62/deck!)(4 dozen of each color)International:
1 deck = $10.95 ($7.95 + $3 shipping)
3 decks = $31.99 ($19.99 + $12 shipping; $10.66/deck)(one of each color)
36 decks = $261 ($199 + $62 shipping; $7.25/deck)(12 of each color)
144 decks= $859 ($699 + $160 shipping, only $5.97/deck!)(4 dozen of each color)
Most photos courtesy of Lawrence Sullivan and 52cartes.
***Legends are trade Marked by Lawrence Sullivan***