Thursday, December 18, 2014

On its Way! Gibecière 17, Volume 9, Number 1

Gibeciere 17 CoverGibecière 17, Volume 9, Number 1
Winter 2014

The latest Gibecière is on its way from the printers! It is a fantastic issue, and we are really looking forward to you receiving it.

We begin this issue with the tenth and final installment of the excellent and enlightening “Investigation into Magic in Japan after the Opening of the Country” by Mitsunobu Matsuyama. Mr. Matsuyama delves into the histories of some highly successful female magicians, amateur and professional magic societies, the sale of magic in department stores, and the early history of the Tenyo magic line as well as historical notes on Tenkai.

Next we get acquainted with a largely unknown, but extremely intriguing and mysterious card handler in the fascinating “Moreau” by Jerry Christensen. Mr. Moreau was a French card magician who led a very luxurious life in the finest spots in France by doing card magic in restaurants and cafés. He is reputed to have been remarkable by very reliable sources and we are quite lucky to have this peek into his life and to learn about his work.

Max Maven offers what we hope will be an ongoing series entitled “Tracking Slum Magic to Its Lair”. Here, Mr. Maven delves into the “Needle through Balloon” and we get to follow this popular “slum magic” effect from its clever beginnings, burgeoning popularity, and subsequent denigration.

“Uncle Aficionado” by Enrique Jiménez-Martinez introduces the new translation, by Noah Levine, of Juan Mieg’s Curious Notices. Published anonymously, Juan Mieg was only recently connected with the authorship of this book, which features juggling, sword swallowing, speaking machines, human water-fountains, the feats of professional gluttons and conjuring performances, as well as some information on the Phantasmagoria that appears nowhere else!

We must thank our editor, Stephen Minch, for what is truly a glorious and intriguing issue!

If you are a member and are due this issue it will soon be on its way. If you are lapsed or not yet a member, this is the time to join or renew!

Uncle StorkTenkatsu3Tenkatsu2TenkatsuTenkai and OkinuSupertrationMoreauHagiwaraCurious NoticesCaledonian TheatreBlack ChamberAngel

February 12, 2014 by | Filed under Gibecière, Magic News

Listen to the Piddington’s

Gib16Banner 2Here’s a full recording of The Piddington’s – a husband and wife team who gained worldwide fame performing a telepathy routine that bordered on the supernatural. You can find out more about them by reading the  fascinating biographical piece that Barry Wiley contributed to our historical journal Gibecière, Vol. 8, No. 2.

While listening to this vintage recording, consider that Sydney Piddington began to develop this act while he was interred at Changi Prison camp during World War II. During this time he became friends with other performers like Russell Braddon, and Fergus Anckorn (whose own story is described HERE). Under the harshest of conditions, they created act that follows.


December 11, 2013 by | Filed under Articles, Exhibitions, Gibecière, Magic News, Research

Gibecière 16, Summer 2013, Vol. 8, No. 2

Gib16Banner 2Gibeciere16-detGibecière Vol. 8, No. 2

Now shipping! Summer 2013 issue of our flagship publication Gibecière!

Our biggest issue yet (at 288 pages and nearly 2 lbs) opens with a long-anticipated piece by Barry Wiley on the Piddingtons. Syd Piddington was a magician who was captured and imprisoned as a POW in Changi prison, Singapore during World War II. During his captivity, with the help of Russell Braddon, Fergus Anckorn and others, he created one of the greatest mind reading acts ever staged. After the Japanese lost the war, Piddington toured the world and became a sensation. Mr. Wiley gives us the details he discovered from his firsthand interviews and excellent research.

Gibeciere16Back-detOne of the world’s great historians and one of our favorite contributors, Enrique Jiménez, has truly outdone himself this time. We are proud to publish his expanded and greatly detailed checklist of Minguet’s classic Engaños a ojos vistas. In addition to more details on Minguet’s life and work, we are also ecstatic about being able to offer a full facsimile and translation of an outrageously rare Spanish booklet by Francisco Papuè. A reference to this early 18th century pamphlet was discovered a few years ago, but no copy could be located. Mr. Jiménez diligently scoured the world and found what might be the only copy; it was being held in a famous Spanish monastery. Upon request the monks made the book available to us, and now through Lori Pieper’s translation this wonderful little book is available to you.

Our editor Stephen Minch has done his usual excellent job in creating what is one of our finest issues to date!

If you are a member and due the issue it’s already on its way. If you are lapsed or not a member yet, this is the time to join or renew!

Join Now

We think you will enjoy this fantastic issue! Please consider becoming a member and receiving these excellent issues as they are released. In addition to the journal, membership offers numerous other benefits, not the least of which is our searchable magic database, Ask Alexander.
Gib16 1Gib16 9Gib16 21Gib16 22Gib16 20Gib16 7Gib16 13Gib16 15Gib16 12Gib16 3Gib16 8Gib16 10

September 10, 2013 by | Filed under Gibecière, Magic News

Gibecière Vol. 8, No. 1

GIbeciere 15 Banner CleanGibeciere 15 Cover ScanGibecière Vol. 8, No. 1

It’s kind of a big deal.

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.

Join Now



Gibeciere Winter 2013 The present Book Sachs Knife Trick Greek Break Florentine Cards Card Illustrations A Curious Manuscript Back Cover Contents

March 18, 2013 by | Filed under Gibecière, Magic News, Research
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Gibecière Vol. 7, No. 2

Welcome to the 14th issue of Gibecière (Vol. 7, No. 2)! We have just received an advanced copy and are expecting to have them in the office and shipping out to current subscribers around July 18th!
This issue features a number of glorious articles, as well as Stephen Minch’s excellent “Pocket Notes” and a robust addition to the “Furthermore…” portion of our journal.

We start the issue with the ninth installment of Mitsunobu Matsuyama’s “An Investigation into Magic in Japan” as he looks at the Japanese magician K.T. Kuma, popularizer of the Kuma Tubes.

This is followed by another excellent translation by the esteemed Lori Pieper of a little-known book about the Eighteenth Century world of gamblers and cheaters.  L’antidote ou le contrepoison des chevaliers d’industrie, ou joueurs de profession (The antidote or counterpoison against the knights of industry, or professional gamblers), first published in 1768, features 25 letters and documents detailing techniques used by many swindlers in the game of Faro. These include: rough and smooth, trimmed cards, using paper grain bias to distinguish certain cards (perhaps they would have visited our store?), second dealing, the palm, the pass, lapping, and magicians’ methods for transforming cards. This article also features an introduction by games expert Thierry Depaulis.

We round out the issue with “Furthermore…,” which features input on the The Butterfly Trick from Bill Mullins and Mitsunobu Matsuyama as well as comments from P.G. Varola, Max Maven, and David Ben with regard to the Jean Hugard – Orville Meyer correspondence published in the previous issue of the journal.

If you are not a member, or your subscription is not up to date, please join or renew now to make sure you do not miss this exciting issue. Each issue is printed in a limited run with no plans to reprint!




June 29, 2012 by | Filed under Gibecière, Magic News

Gibecière Vol. 7, No. 1

We’ve finally reached an Al Baker’s dozen!

Our 13th issue of Gibecière (Vol. 7, No. 1) has just arrived at Conjuring Arts, and is shipping to our current subscribers as we speak!

This issue features new and fascinating research by Ricky Jay and Enrique Jiménez-Martinez that casts doubt on the integrity of the stories in The life, adventures, and unparalleled sufferings of Andrew Oehler, while simultaneously taking a look at the degree of suffering magicians faced at the hands of religious persecutors in the 1400s to 1800s!

Additionally we have a rare and privileged look into the New York magic scene from 1938-1958 courtesy of none other than Jean Hugard! We have reproduced and annotated his letters to Orville Meyer and they contain all the salient tips, tricks, commentary, and, of course, gossip that you would expect…and more!

If you are not a member, or your subscription is not up to date, please join now, or renew, as soon as possible to make sure you do not miss this exciting issue. We only print a few each time and have no plans to reprint!


March 2, 2012 by | Filed under Gibecière, Magic News

Gibecière Vol. 6, No. 2 Shipped!

Gibecière Vol. 6, No. 2

Our latest issue has arrived and is on its way to our subscribers! This issue completes the first dozen issues and marks the end of our 6th volume. Happy anniversary Gibecière!

As usual, we have a rich variety of contributions from a number of authors to make for some fascinating reading. In addition to some historical works, we even delve into a historical feud!

The first article is an intriguing look into the fascinating character Ishii Black by Mitsunobu Matsuyama in a continuation of his superb series of articles investigating magic in Japan. In addition to the look into Black’s life, we also have reproduced a series of articles that he contributed on Japanese magic, complete with commentary by Mr. Matsuyama.

The next series of articles are a present day look at what amounts to an historical feud! In our Summer 2009 issue, you will note that we offered a translation of Spain’s first magic book, Engaños a ojos vistas (Deceptions in Plain Sight) by Pablo Minguet è Yrol. Well, the book was not without controversy and one of Minguet’s contemporaries, Diego Joseph Zamorano, took him to task in Thesoro atractivo de curiosos… or Attractive treasury of curiosities…. Dr. Lori Pieper provides us with a translation of this interesting magical work and we are also treated to an introduction by Enrique Jimènez-Martinez and some present day commentary by Stephen Minch!

These are already being sent out to our members, so, if you want to get one, make sure that your membership is up to date. Also, 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.

Join Now


July 28, 2011 by | Filed under Gibecière, Magic News

Gibecière Vol. 6, No. 1

Gibecière Vol. 6, No. 1

The 11th issue of Gibecière is finished, and we are very excited. This particular issue contains a real treat as we have finally persuaded the delightful Jim Steinmeyer to contribute an article, an addition to our list of contributors that we have been hoping for since the journal began. Additionally we have articles by Mitsunobu Matsuyama, William Kalush and Stephen Minch, and a translation from Lori Pieper!

Jim Steinmeyer’s article, “The Spider in the Flies”, neatly transitions from Joshua Jay’s “Tragic Magic” in the last issue, as it has to do with murder, although it is not the magician this time who is the victim. There is quite a bit more to this novel mystery which we leave you to work out by reading Mr. Steinmeyer’s enlightening article.

Mitsunobu Matsuyama provides a seventh(!) installment in his fascinating series, “An Investigation into Magic in Japan”. This time the history intertwines with several of magic’s biggest names: Maskelyne, Devant, and Chung Ling Soo. M. Gintaro may have performed at the Maskelyne and Devant theaters more than any other magician, possibly more than 6,000 performances! Frank Kametaro was Chung Ling Soo’s right-hand man who also, tragically, gave the order to fire during the performance of the bullet catch which cost the life of Soo. These and several other individuals are documented in this installment.

We round out this issue with a new translation of the magic section of Ozanam by the ever diligent Lori Pieper. The translation is introduced by Mr. William Kalush and Mr. Stephen Minch in their article, “The Influence of Ozanam”, which looks at where the text may have come from and the later texts that may have benefited from its popularity.

In all, we are very happy with this issue and are sure that you will find much of interest.

These will be sent out to members as soon as we receive them, so, if you want to get one, make sure that your membership is up to date. Also, 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.

Join Now


January 13, 2011 by | Filed under Gibecière
1 Comment

Gibecière Vol. 5, No. 2

Gibecière Vol. 5, No. 2

For our spectacular tenth issue, we hear from a familiar voice, welcome a celebrated new contributor, and unearth a centuries-old manuscript that turns the entire timeline of magic history on its ear.

First, Barry Wiley chronicles the remarkable Nellie Bly, considered the first female journalist, and her shrewd exposure of fraudulent supernatural performers in early 20th Century America.

Next we hear from the prolific Joshua Jay, who gives us a morbidly fascinating catalog of magicians who have met with tragic ends in the pursuit of their art.  Chung Ling Soo’s death is well-chronicled, but these magicians’ stories are equally (and just as eerily) compelling.

Finally, Conjuring Arts has uncovered a 17th Century Italian manuscript whose contents both shed light on and call into question the timeline of many well-known conjuring tricks.  Lori Pieper once again provides the English translation, and Stephen Minch and William Kalush give context and commentary.

Back issues of Gibecière are available in our Store.


September 11, 2010 by | Filed under Gibecière

Gibecière Vol. 5, No. 1

Magic lovers rejoice! Due to the great efforts of our editor Stephen Minch the new issue of Gibecière (Winter 2010) is now off the press and making its way to subscribers from our offices in New York. This issue of the journal is robust and includes a fascinating article by Martin Gardner on the history of a specialized spelling effect with cards. Also included is an article by William Kalush on the general history of the speller which includes a facsimile reproduction of Dr. Elliott’s handwritten manuscript on the 3 card speller. Once again we are privileged to include another glimpse at the history of Japanese magic by Mitsunobu Matsuyama. After all that we still found room to include a translation of a newly discovered and possibly unique 19th century French pamphlet by Antoine Castelli entitled Amusemens physiques.  Join or renew now to be sure you won’t miss this issue!

Back issues of Gibecière are available in our Store.


March 3, 2010 by | Filed under Gibecière, Magic News

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