lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on the art of conjury

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97120
[Abbott's Magic Co.]
Abbott's Practical Patter
Abbott Publications/The Abbott Magic Mfg. Co., Colon MI, nd.
Quarto; stapled paperback; 18pp., typed on one side only, with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; covers rubbed with some sunning; text block edges lightly toned; some underlining in red ink. Very good. In the post-War period, the art of stage magic was kept alive (and kept stage magicians fed and clothed) through the burgeoning mail-order business model. Easily produced and posted ephemeral articles like this instruction booklet were sent across the world to would-be magic-workers wanting to hone their craft: this booklet focuses on entertaining and building a rapport with the audience using a stream of commentary known as "patter". Keeping up a lively and amusing stream of conversation while performing acts of magic on stage doesn't come easily to some people. This mail-order catalogue offers the reader a range of amusing commentaries useful when using various props, such as candles, scarves and money - "And now I would like to borrow a $10 bill - no $10 bills? Well, there was no harm in asking". Some of the material is quite dated but nevertheless, the theory is sound and can be adapted for a more up-to-date audience.
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$15
74755
Ainslie, Arthur
Water Wizardry Magical Experiments with Liquids
Arthur Pearson, London, 1922.
Octavo; hardcover; 124pp., monochrome illustrations. Minor edgewear to boards; some rubbing. Repaired with new spine retaining original titling. Very good. Arthur Ainslie was a British magician, born Arthur Wellesley Odell Pain in 1870. He was a devotee of David Devant and an ardent writer of books on conjuring, possibly having ghost-written many important books on the subject. He is also known to have published under the pseudonym 'F.M. Archer'. In 1913 he presented his best-known trick wherein he constructed a doghouse on stage and produced a dog from it upon completion. He died in 1940. In this book, Ainslie outlines many notorious stage tricks which involve liquids of various kinds.
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$100
97134
Blackmore, Kent
Levante His Life, No Illusion; Magical Pro-Files series, number 7
Mike Caveney's Magic Words, Pasadena CA, 1997.
First limited edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles and decorated endpapers; 239pp., with a tipped-in colour frontispiece, a monochrome portrait frontispiece and many monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Minor wear; light softening to the spine heel. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Number 209 of 1000 copies. 'Levante - His Life, No Illusion' is the seventh installment in the award-winning series of Magical Pro-Files published, in 1997, by Mike Caveney's Magic Words press. The format for this biography of the great Australian illusionist, Les Levante (1892-1978), is unlike any other book in the series. After discovering Levante's unpublished autobiography, author Kent Blackmore spent five years researching the fascinating life of perhaps the last of the great touring illusionists. Each chapter is divided into two distinct sections. First comes Levante's personal memories of the many adventures he experienced while touring the world with his ever-expanding, full-evening illusion show. Levante's words are followed by the author's considerable research which adds greatly to the story, makes corrections and places into context Levante's reminiscences. In describing his heroic struggle to the top of his profession, Levante provides a bird's-eye-view of show business during the early part of this century. Travel with Levante and Company as they visit Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan and India. As a headliner in England's music halls, Levante socialized with many of magic's greatest names including Dante, Goldin and Selbit. 'Levante - His Life, No Illusion' contains over a hundred photos illustrating his long career and spectacular magic show. An appendix describes many of Levante's classic tricks and illusions that have been explained in magic magazines over the years. No. 209 of only 1,000 copies.
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$120
97137
Caveney, Mike, & William Rauscher
Servais Le Roy Monarch of Mystery; Magical Pro-Files series, number 8
Mike Caveney's Magic Words, Pasadena CA, 1999.
First edition: quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 320pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece, many monochrome illustrations and diagrams and 16pp. of colour illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper very lightly edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. As a performer and inventor of magic and illusions, Servais Le Roy had no peer. Harry Houdini praised him, Howard Thurston feared him and Harry Kellar called him the most finished artist he had ever seen. Mrs. Le Roy, known around the world as "Talma: The Queen of Coins", was often compared to that great sleight-of-hand expert, T. Nelson Downs, and the rotund Leon Bosco induced gales of laughter by switching the heads on two living birds. Together, as Le Roy, Talma and Bosco, "The Comedians de Mephisto", they produced a full evening of magical entertainment unlike anything the world had ever seen. This is the story of their rise to fame starting with Le Roy's early visits to Egyptian Hall in London with his boyhood friend David Devant, his first success in England's music halls and American vaudeville during the 1890s, and finally, international fame as a recognized star of the Variety stage. During Le Roy's amazing life he rubbed shoulders (and did battle) with many of the biggest names in show business. Drawing on a number of primary sources including William Rauscher's long friendship with Le Roy's chief assistant Elizabeth Ford, Le Roy's previously unpublished notebook, and on years of dedicated research, the authors were able to include - amongst many other things - previously unpublished illusion secrets, Le Roy's inspirational rise to international fame and, finally, his catastrophic final performance and heartbreaking demise. No. 979 of only 1,000 copies.
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$400
68165
Chomet, Sylvain
The Illusionist: DVD
Madman.
New. Region 4. On the train down to Cannes in 2003, where his frolicsome animated feature Belleville Rendez-Vous was having its world premiere, writer-director Sylvain Chomet had some reading to do. He had a document other filmmakers would kill for, a never-filmed script by French comedy great Jacques Tati, the director, writer and star of 'Monsieur Hulot's Holiday'. However, Chomet recalls that his attitude was far from reverent: 'I hoped it was crap. I didn't want to do an adaptation,' explains the Paris-born animator. 'I wanted to make my own stories. I was ready to give it back to the Tati estate, but that didn't happen. It was just so strong. I could see the whole movie already, and that's such a gift.' A gift indeed, and Chomet has spent the intervening years turning 'The Illusionist' into pure pleasure for us. Deliberately old-fashioned in its hand-drawn detail, even radical in its gentle pace, this poignant story follows a struggling magician in the dying, late-'50s days of variety, tracing his fatherly relationship with a waif-like young girl who joins him on his travels. The result is a startling combination of pictorial loveliness and wonderful melancholy. It's nothing less than a modern classic, though it hasn't been achieved without a few bumps and scrapes along the way...Thanks to Chomet and his animators, Tati inhabits the screen again in 'The Illusionist', since its central character, a down-on-his-luck magician billed as 'Tatischeff', reflects the loping gait and befuddlement of Monsieur Hulot. Indeed, the connection between the two runs deep: Chomet recognises the influence of 'Playtime' on his desire for gorgeously composed, long-held wide shots which leave us to find our own way round the frame...'The beauty and immersive detail of the images, whether the changing skies over Edinburgh or a steam train beside a Scottish loch, cast their own spell and they're very much Chomet's doing, since Tati's original story was set in Prague. A visit to the film festival in Edinburgh in 2003 was enough to have Chomet and his producer wife fall in love with the Scottish capital and move their entire operation there. Fittingly, 'The Illusionist' opened Edinburgh's film festival, screening to applause in the very same venue where the Tatischeff character in the film performs for a few stragglers.
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$23
98017
Christopher, Milbourne
Houdini The Untold Story
Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1969.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 281pp., with a monochrome frontispiece and 33pp. of plates likewise. Moderate wear; slightly rolled; spine extremities softened; text block edges spotted and top edge dusted; minor offset to the endpapers; previous owner's name in pencil to the flyleaf. Price-clipped dustwrapper well-rubbed with the lacquer lifting; edgewear and some creasing; chips to the spine panel extremities and flap-turns, but with no loss of text; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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$18
97133
Christopher, Milbourne
The Illustrated History of Magic
Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York NY, 1973.
First edition: quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 452pp., with a monochrome frontispiece, 8p. of colour plates and many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; slightly shaken; a bump to the spine heel; some sunning to the board edges; text block edges spotted; some minor marks to the rear endpapers. Dustwrapper is mildly edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Set off on a magical history tour with Milbourne Christopher's classic Illustrated History of Magic. Follow the fascinating stories of the world's greatest conjurers, from sorcerer-priests in ancient Egypt, The Great Herrmann, Harry Kellar, Chung Ling Soo, Houdini, to modern miracle workers like David Copperfield, Siegfreid and Roy, and David Blaine. Filled with fantastic illustrations, poster art, photographs and illusion diagrams, this book is a feast for anyone interested in the conjuring arts.
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$50
97141
Clark, Hyla M. (Paul Levin, illus.)
The World's Greatest Magic 32 Master Magicians Performing Their Most Mystifying Feats
Tree Communications Inc./Bonanza Books/Crown Publishers Inc., New York NY, 1976.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine and upper board titles; 208pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Penned price to upper corner of front endpaper. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed; inner front flap crumpled along edge (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good. Profiles the careers and artistry of more than thirty modern-day conjurers, illusionists, mentalists, and escapists and features magic tricks explained by The Amazing Randi.
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$23
82213
Davies, Robertson
Fifth Business
The Viking Press Inc., New York, NY, USA, 1970.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in papered boards; 308pp., untrimmed, top edge dyed yellow. Boards somewhat mottled and faded in spots; spotting to text block edges. Dustwrapper with rubbing especially to rear panel; edgewear with a few small tears and chips; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. At one level a drily-indignant letter to the headmaster of the Boys' College at which he has worked for 45 years, the memoir of Dunstan Ramsay is actually a cunningly-designed conjurer's trick, opening up into a majestic spectacle, and revealing the writer's life as having been a cleverly-played sleight-of-hand ever since his return from the bloody fields of Passchendaele. Fifth Business is a magic trick, written with a conjurer's subtle touch, about a disillusioned man obsessed by magic and miracles, and it will amaze the reader with its grand finale.
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$40
82214
Davies, Robertson
The Manticore
The Viking Press Inc., New York, NY, USA, 1972.
First US edition: octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in papered boards; 310pp., untrimmed, top edge dyed green. Lightly toned text block edges. Illustrated dustwrapper with minor wear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive film with white paper backing. Very good to near fine. Following on from the first instalment, the magical Fifth Business, The Manticore follows the doings of Dunstan Ramsay's son, top-flight criminal lawyer David Staunton, as he turns to Jungian analysis in an attempt to understand the dead father who, to him, was more of a stranger. Drawn into the psychoanalytical magic spell are the uninhibited Leisl and the enigmatic stage magician Eisengrim, who each have their parts to play in helping Staunton understand his cryptical father... and himself.
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$40
82215
Davies, Robertson
World of Wonders
The Macmillan Company of Canada, Toronto, Canada, 1975.
First Canadian edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 358pp. Previous owner's ink inscription to the front pastedown; light wear to board bottom edges and corners; faint spotting to text block edges. Illustrated dustwrapper with some creasing and scrapes to edges especially to the spine extremities and flap turns; long tear along the rear flap turn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This is the third book in the trilogy which began with the mesmerising Fifth Business, but it stands on its own without the aid of the previous two instalments. This strand of the narrative is taken up by Magnus Eisengrim, abducted as a youth by a conjurer in a travelling fair and transformed into a master stage magician due to a chance meeting with - and striking resemblance to - London theatre manager Sir John Tresize. In relating his experiences in the tawdry sleaze of the travelling carnival - bunking alongside such luminaries as Molza the Human Salamander and Rango The Missing Link (a monkey) - he reveals at last the mysterious secret which drew him into strange partnership with Dunstan Ramsay (of Fifth Business) and Leisl Vitzliputzli (from The Manticore). Magical stuff!
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$35
9075
Dawes, Edwin
The Great Illusionists
Chartwell Books Inc., Secaucus NJ, 1979.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 216pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; boards slightly bowed; some spots and toning to the text block edges. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed with mild edgewear; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Most of us respond with thrill to feats of the impossible. Whether the tricks are small, as when four kings are found in the middle of the pack, or large as when an attractive assistant floats across the stage, the excitement is the same. It is difficult to pin down the reason. We know, after all, that the magician doesn't have special powers... This book about magic and magicians gives us a look behind the mirrors to the ways people have been baffled by stage magic for centuries and takes us into the lives of magicians from the earliest times to the present.
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$25
97143
Dawes, Edwin A., & Arthur Setterington (Patricia Hitchcock, ed.; Angela Sutherland, illus.)
The Book of Magic
Admiral Books/W.H. Smith & Son Ltd., London, 1986.
Quarto; hardcover, with illustrated boards and endpapers; 190pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Minor wear; slightly rolled; text block edges lightly toned. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Down through the ages, countless ingenious performers have astonished their friends or audiences with "magic" - not the black arts, but simple or sometimes complicated tricks that can be learned and passed on. This book will tell you how to do this, and do it well. By the time you have completed the final chapter on "The Master Magician", you will know how to tackle most aspects of of magicianship, from selecting tricks and perfecting your patter to handling awkward apparatus and bowing out in grand style. Among the tricks described are "The Black Bag Mystery", "The Indian Basket", "The Growing Wand", "The Vanishing Rabbit" and many more!
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$22
72264
Fisher, John (ed.)
The Magic of Lewis Carroll
Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd., London, 1973.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 288pp., with many monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Moisture damage to the lower board edges, not extending to the text block; board top edges sunned; previous owner's ink inscription to the half title; minor offset to the endpapers and scattered spotting to the preliminaries; text block edges toned with some spotting; light bumping to the corners and spine extremities. Price-clipped dustwrapper is lightly rubbed with some minor edgewear and spotting to the verso; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. There is a good story about Queen Victoria enjoying Alice's Adventures in Wonderland so much that she asked for a first edition of the author's next book. Two years later a beautifully wrapped package arrived, containing an inscribed copy of An Elementary Treatise on Determinants: With Their Application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraical Geometry. Sadly, the story isn't true. To his adoring readers he was Lewis Carroll, the sweet-natured writer who wandered through life with a head full of stories. To his long-suffering colleagues in Oxford he was the Rev Charles Dodgson, the prickly mathematician who walked around with a poker-straight back and a head full of algebra. The two were like strangers who merely happened to inhabit the same skin. This book is its own definition of the sense of wonder first evident in the activities of the boy wizard and later providing the protective cloak essential as refuge from an adult life that came to encompass loneliness and left-handedness, a stutter and seemingly unconquerable shyness. In amassing for this purpose as comprehensive a collection of Carroll's original games and puzzles as possible including various magic tricks and gambits, which, while not originated by himself, would certainly have been familiar and therefore of some influence on him, manifestations of that same basic desire to fascinate and intrigue, whether his audience be young friend or high-table colleague. In 1885, Carroll's diary entry admits that 'never before have I had so many literary projects on hand at once'. He then proceeds 'for curiosity' to list fifteen separate projects from mathematical treatises with titles like Supplement to Euclid and Modern Rivals and Plain Facts for Circle-Squarers to a projected bowdlerised edition of Shakespeare for young girls to 'A Collection of Games and Puzzles of my devising, with fairy pictures by Miss E G Thomson. This might also contain my "Memoria Technica" for dates, etc., my "cipher-writing", scheme for Letter-registration, etc, etc.' Editor John Fisher was himself a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and has previously published his own Magic Book.
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$30
97118
Foster, Neil (ed.)
Tops Pictorial Album of Magicians
Abbott Publications/The Abbott Magic Mfg. Co., Colon MI, 1966.
Quarto; stapled paperback; unpaginated (88pp.), with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; covers rubbed; text block edges lightly toned; some underlining in red ink. Very good. This is a collection of promotional photographs of some of the world's greatest male and female stage magic performers. Provided by the Abbott Magic Manufacturing Company as a source of inspiration and as a way of designing one's professional look, this booklet contains hundreds of monochrome images of magicians in myriad outfits, all appropriate for conjuration.
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$17
211197
Gold, Glen David
Carter Beats the Devil
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2007.
Octavo; paperback; 563pp. Minor wear; browned text block and page edges; rubbed covers with wear to edges. Very good. A historical mystery thriller centred on the American stage magician Charles Joseph Carter (1874 - 1936). The title refers to the magician's evening length stage show, the third act of which is called "Carter Beats The Devil" and features a duel with an assistant made up as the Devil.
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$12
97208
[The International Brotherhood of Magicians - Alvin Richard Plough, ed.]
The Linking Ring - Vol.39 - No.6, August 1959 Official Publication of International Brotherhood of Magicians
The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Kenton OH, 1959.
Octavo; stapled paperback; 128pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; covers rubbed; light toning to the pages. Good. Along with its usual run of glorious advertising, this issue of The Linking Ring contains an article by Milbourne Christopher - well-known author on the history of magic - a report on a Canadian "parade", and discussions about injecting a spirit of creativity into a stage routine. The cover of this issue is graced by the smiling face of magician John Giordmaine. Many great routines are revealed inside and the magazine is now protected by a Mylar sleeve.
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$25
97210
[The International Brotherhood of Magicians - Alvin Richard Plough, ed.]
The Linking Ring - Vol.42 - No.7, July 1962 Official Publication of International Brotherhood of Magicians
The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Kenton OH, 1962.
Octavo; stapled paperback; 116pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; covers starting, rubbed and insect damaged; light toning to the pages. Good. This issue of The Linking Ring - along with usual run of great adverts for all kinds of magical gadgets - contains articles on Mentalism, "loads" and "steals" and the power of misdirection. On the cover of this issue is a picture of Irving M. Lewis, the IBM president for 1962-63. Many great routines are revealed inside and the magazine is now protected by a Mylar sleeve.
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$22
97211
[The International Brotherhood of Magicians - Alvin Richard Plough, ed.]
The Linking Ring - Vol.43 - No.2, February 1963 Official Publication of International Brotherhood of Magicians
The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Kenton OH, 1963.
Octavo; stapled paperback; 124pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; front covers almost detached; covers rubbed and insect damaged; light toning to the pages; some dog-eared pages; underlining in ink throughout and some ink doodles to the back cover. Good. This issue of The Linking Ring contains the usual run of advertising and letters from readers, as well as articles on the art of stage magic, the power of "patter" and an overview of Orientalist influences in the field. On the cover of this issue Carlos H. Colombi causes a piece of rope to magically rise into the air. Many great routines are revealed inside and the magazine is now protected by a Mylar sleeve.
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$20
97212
[The International Brotherhood of Magicians - Alvin Richard Plough, ed.]
The Linking Ring - Vol.44 - No.5, May 1964 Official Publication of International Brotherhood of Magicians
The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Kenton OH, 1964.
Octavo; stapled paperback; 132pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; a tear along the spine to the top staple; covers rubbed; light toning to the pages. Good. Among all of the ads and letters, this issue contains a discussion of the future of the magic trade, whether stage magicians should consider themselves as something other than "entertainers", as well as an article about a young magician's early attempt to "bust" a spiritualist meeting. A very dapper Willard S. Smith graces the cover of this issue. Many great routines are revealed inside and the magazine is now protected by a Mylar sleeve.
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$22
97213
[The International Brotherhood of Magicians - Howard Bamman, ed.]
The Linking Ring - Vol.50 - No.3, March 1970 Official Publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians
The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Palatine IL, 1970.
Octavo; stapled paperback; 148pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; covers rubbed; light toning to the pages; some underlining in ink. Good. With adverts and letters galore, this issue contains a discussion of the life of Robert-Houdin (from whom Houdini took his name) along with articles about legerdemain and mentalism. Magician Ed Fanley appears on the cover of this issue. Many great routines are revealed inside and the magazine is now protected by a Mylar sleeve.
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$25
97214
[The International Brotherhood of Magicians - Howard Bamman, ed.]
The Linking Ring - Vol.50 - No.9, September 1970 Official Publication of the International Brotherhood of Magicians
The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Palatine IL, 1970.
Octavo; stapled paperback; 132pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; covers rubbed; light toning to the pages. Good. Harvey and Maxine Long grace the cover of this issue, caught mid-routine in a fiery act. The usual ads and letters appear within, along with articles about making your stage act commercially viable and some instructions on how to perform some intriguing puzzles. Many great routines are revealed inside and the magazine is now protected by a Mylar sleeve.
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$25
97204
[The International Brotherhood of Magicians - W.W. Durbin, ed.]
The Linking Ring - Vol.16 - No.5, July 1936 The Official Organ of the International Brotherhood of Magicians
The International Brotherhood of Magicians, Kenton OH, 1936
Octavo; stapled paperback; 74pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; front cover starting; covers rubbed; light foxing to the pages. Good. In this early edition of The Linking Ring, Henry Ridgley Evans discusses the past magicians who entertained the rulers of Europe while editor W.W. Dubbin discusses his life in the magic trade. All this, while the "Master Deceptionist" Elmer Eckham broods moodily on the front cover. The magazine is now protected by a Mylar sleeve.
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$20
99522
Jaher, David
The Witch of Lime Street Seance, Seduction and Houdini in the Spirit World
Crown Publishers, New York NY, 2015.
Octavo; hardcover, 436pp., monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. New, remainder. "Houdini was considered the greatest escape artist of the early 20th century, but by the 1920s, he turned his energies to unmasking spiritist frauds who claimed to have contact with the dead. Set against a backdrop of Jazz Age excess and anxiety, Jaher, in his first book, tells the story of Houdini's epic confrontation with a spiritist whose popularity rivaled his own. World War I and the Spanish influenza laid waste to a generation of young men in Europe and left the world 'teetering on the brink of a new dark age.' Observers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who eventually became an ardent advocate of spiritualism (and friendly nemesis to Houdini), believed that the loss of so many loved ones would turn bereaved families seeking comfort 'toward spirit communion.' While seances became all the rage on both sides of the Atlantic and Conan Doyle lectured on the 'New Revelation,' reputable scientists began to explore the paranormal to determine the true nature of psychic phenomena. One particular group associated with Scientific American magazine put together a contest that would award $5,000 to anyone able to successfully prove his or her abilities. Among the judges was Houdini, whose career as a magician made him a formidable spiritist debunker. All but one medium tested by this group - the genteel Crandon - were conclusively demonstrated to be frauds. Through a combination of feminine seduction and illusionist skill that even Houdini admired, Crandon became the one psychic to almost win the respect of the scientific community and outshine Houdini as an entertainer. Jaher's narrative style is as engaging as his character portraits are colourful. Together, they bring a bygone age and its defining spiritual obsessions roaring to life. Fascinating, sometimes thrilling, reading." - Kirkus
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$23
97136
Lewis, Eric (Mike Caveney, ed.)
The Genius of Robert Harbin A Personal Biography
Mike Caveney's Magic Words, Pasadena CA, 1997.
First edition: quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 358pp., with a monochrome portrait frontispiece and many monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Minor wear. Dustwrapper very lightly edgeworn with a small surface tear to the front panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. Robert Harbin is a name that towers over the world of magic. His original stage illusions are familiar, even to laymen, in all parts of the world. His incredible output of close-up, cabaret and stage magic continued unabated for over forty years. Today, Robert Harbin is recognized as a rare genius of 20th century magic. As a writer, artist and confidant of the legendary Robert Harbin, author Eric Lewis has produced a fascinating, behind the scenes look at the public, as well as private life of his friend. 'The Genius of Robert Harbin' includes detailed explanations for sixty-six Harbin effects, including a number of previously unpublished illusions.
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$100
97129
Maskelyne, Jasper (Arthur Groom, ed.)
Maskelyne's Book of Magic
George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., London, 1936.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with upper board titles and decorations; 288pp., with a portrait frontispiece, many monochrome illustrations and 15pp. of monochrome plates. Moderate wear; mildly shaken; softening to the spine extremities and corners bumped; text block edges toned and spotted; minor offset to the endpapers; retailer's bookplate to the front pastedown; tape remnants to the pastedowns; scattered foxing to the preliminaries. Lacks dustwrapper. Very good. Jasper Maskelyne was the grandson of John Nevil Maskelyne following in his footsteps to become a famous stage magician of the 1930s and 40s. His excellence as a practitioner of the art of illusion sits in stark contrast to his wartime record, some elements of which have been called into question by later commentators. In the Second World War, Maskelyne abandoned the stage to join the Royal Engineers. Under the aegis of Winston Churchill and British military intelligence, he formed the Magic Gang, a group of architects, art restorers, carpenters, chemists, electrical engineers, electricians and painters. Under his direction, they fooled the Axis powers by making tanks look like jeeps and vice-versa, and fooling Erwin Rommel into thinking that the Allies were attacking El Alamein from the south rather than the north. His greatest feat was tricking Axis bombers into thinking that Alexandria was three miles from its actual location by creating lights, fake buildings and even a fake lighthouse in a nearby bay, using plywood, pyrotechnics and theatre lights, an initiative entitled Operation Bertram. He was also said to be in the process of planning to lure Rudolf Hess from Germany using Aleister Crowley as a secret agent (under the code-name 'Agent 777'); however, Hess's unexpected flight to the Scottish highlands put these plans to rest. His wartime efforts are documented in his (ghost-written) autobiography 'Magic: Top Secret' and David Fisher's slightly more reliable 'The War Magician'. Acknowledged by Winston Churchill for his efforts and those of the Magic Gang, Maskelyne never felt that he was adequately rewarded for his accomplishments and retired to Kenya where he established a driver training school. He died of complications due to alcoholism in 1973.
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$300
66186
Mitchell, Adrian
Houdini A Circus Opera
Clowns, Amsterdam The Netherlands, nd. (c.1976).
Octavo; paperback; unpaginated, with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; covers a little rubbed. Near fine.
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$25
97140
Murray, Barry (Antonia Owen, ed.; John Lilley, illus.)
Paul Daniels Adult Magic
Michael O'Mara Books Ltd., London, 1989.
Quarto; hardcover, with illustrated boards; 160pp., with many monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Minor wear. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed. Very good to near fine. In 'Adult Magic' the world's most popular magician presents the first magic instruction book aimed at the modern adult. Paul Daniels has produced a dazzling collection of magical wonders and tricks which you can and will do. Magic is the most charming and challenging subject to those who know it and 'Adult Magic' can be your guide to that charmed circle. Paul explains tricks that can be performed at home, in the office, at the lunch table, in the pub and at the card table. There are tricks aimed at amazing adults or for baffling children; for impressing business clients or for entertaining your friends. The reader of 'Adult Magic' is soon aware of the tangible value and potential personal benefits that come with the ability to perform magic. Illustrated throughout with original photographs and drawings, 'Adult Magic' can make a magician of you in a very short time. From Paul Daniels you learn a typical magic routine and the patter to use while performing tricks. He will show you how to break the ice with magic in any business situation, how to deal a perfect bridge or poker hand from a shuffled deck and much more. You may never have more fun than you ever thought possible.
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$20
97139
Murray, Barry (Antonia Owen, ed.; John Lilley, illus.)
Paul Daniels Adult Magic
Michael O'Mara Books Ltd., London, 1989.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 160pp., with many monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Minor wear. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed with the lacquer lifting at the spine panel heel. Very good to near fine. No, you're not being tricked - there are two copies of this book in this list. The other one is a re-print made by a Slovenian press later in the same year of publication; in all respects save for the binding, it is identical to this title but significantly different enough to give it its own listing. This one is the "genuine" first edition, however. Just a little bibliographic magic for you!
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$20
97135
Rauscher, William V.
The Houdini Code Mystery A Spirit Secret Solved; Magical Pro-Files series, number 9
Mike Caveney's Magic Words, Pasadena CA, 2000.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles and decorated endpapers; 192pp., with a tipped-in colour frontispiece, a monochrome portrait frontispiece and many monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Minor wear. Dustwrapper very lightly edgeworn (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Near fine. This book concerns the drama and mystery surrounding a code left by Houdini and supposedly known only by him and his wife Bess. He promised that after his death, if possible, he would communicate from beyond the grave. His wife would then affirm the communication if the prearranged words were correct in respect to the code. The code was used by the Houdini's in the early days of their act. Although the story of the code along with Houdini and Bess has been portrayed in films, written of in books and debated by magicians and researchers for years since Houdini's death in 1926, Rauscher is the only one to reveal the answer and solve the riddle. The author adds to this puzzling array of many characters his first hand knowledge of the famous medium, Arthur Ford, who was credited with receiving the message from Houdini and affirmed in a sworn document by Mrs. Houdini. Rauscher's friendship with Ford, his work on Ford's biography, 'The Man Who Talked With The Dead', places him in a unique position to finally reveal the truth behind one of the 20th century's greatest mysteries... Do the Spirits Return? In addition to the Houdini Code, Rauscher presents an in depth overview of the personality of Houdini and how he became an American icon. He has painted a unique and perceptive word portrait of Houdini quoting numerous great magicians of his era who speak candidly of the master escape artist. The book is a kaleidoscope of unusual and colourful characters. No. 684 of only 1,000 copies.
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$150
97130
Ridgley Evans, Henry
History of Conjuring and Magic
International Brotherhood of Magicians, Kenton OH, 1928.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 235pp., with a colour frontispiece and many diagrams and half-tone illustrations. Moderate wear; shaken; softening to the spine extremities and corners bumped; boards rubbed and gilt worn from the spine; light dusting to the text block top edge; tape remnants and surface tears to the pastedowns. Lacks dustwrapper. Very good. Laid in: a portrait of Harry Houdini from a printed article in a Mylar envelope. Henry Ridgley Evans was an historian of conjuration. Not a performer of any great standing himself, he was on familiar terms with many of the great stage magicians of his day and helped many of them in the production of stage equipment and illusion design. He is known to have had a falling-out with Houdini after a misunderstanding as to whether this current volume on the history of magic would be a co-operative effort, or one in which Houdini merely lent some insights; the book came out and Houdini was not credited, hence the cooling of relations between them. No wonder then that this copy has a publicity shot of Houdini tucked in the back - perhaps an attempt at making amends?
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$150
99502
Sandford, Christopher
Masters of Mystery The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini
Palgrave, New York NY, 2011.
Octavo; paperback; 281pp., many monochrome illustrations. Remainder. New. "The friendship between the most popular author and the greatest illusionist of their time occupies only the middle third of this volume, and the friendship was never all that friendly. The two famous figures, Sandford concedes, enjoyed 'a love-hate relationship' that eventually tilted toward the latter - after only two years in their eventful lives. Doyle's deepening interest in communicating with the dead, which Sandford traces back to at least 1887, the year A Study in Scarlet first appeared, blossomed into firm belief after his son's death of influenza in 1916. Houdini, who described himself to Doyle as 'a skeptic, but a seeker after the truth' in a letter he wrote Doyle soon after their correspondence began in 1920, had meanwhile set up shop as a world-class debunker of bogus mediums and their claims to channel astral voices and paranormal phenomena. It was inevitable that the two men - each prodigiously ambitious, persistent and self-confident - should have been drawn to each other. But not even a 1922 seance - in which the two were joined by Doyle's wife, who under their eyes produced 15 pages of automatic writing she claimed to have been inspired by Houdini's late mother - could convince the skeptic. Instead, his dissent from belief in the miracle led to the rupture of a relationship that had been fragile at best. More a double portrait than an account of a friendship, but a fascinating account of an unlikely relationship framed in a good deal of lightly sourced dual biography." - Kirkus
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$15
97145
Waldman, Carl, Joe Layden & Jamy Ian Swiss (Foreword by Siegfried & Roy; Preface by Lance Burton)
The Art of Magic The Companion to the PBS Special
General Publishing Group Inc., Santa Monica CA, 1997.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine titles; 256pp., with many and monochrome and full-colour illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed. Near fine. Published to accompany the US TV special of the same name, this large format book is beautifully illustrated with poster reproductions, magician's publicity photographs, and artwork from the Kenneth Klosterman Collection. Starting with the magic of the shamans it explores the ritual magic of ancient temple priests, conjuring in the Dark Ages, the mysteries of the east and the pioneers of theatrical magic through to Las Vegas, and a look at the current state of the art. 'The Art of Magic' offers a worthwhile look into the fascinating history of magic. A very enjoyable book.
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$25
97131
Warlock, Peter (Mike Caveney, ed.)
Buatier de Kolta - limited edition Genius of Illusion; Magical Pro-Files series, number 5
Magical Publications, Pasadena CA, 1993.
First edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles and decorations, and decorated endpapers; 217pp., with a tipped-in colour frontispiece, a monochrome portrait frontispiece and many diagrams and half-tone illustrations. Moderate wear; cocked; softening to the spine heel; some rubbing to the upper board. No dustwrapper. Very good. De Kolta was a contemporary of fellow French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. Many of De Kolta's illusions, such as 'Multiplying Billiard Balls', 'The Expanding Cube' and 'The Vanishing Bird Cage', are performed by magicians today. 'Spring Flower' is also one of his creations. De Kolta is known for his 'De Kolta Chair' or 'Vanishing Lady' illusion. A woman seated in a chair, covered by a large cloth would appear to vanish before an audience (large cloth included). Present-day magician David Copperfield has adapted this illusion in his own performances. No. 763 of only 1,000 copies.
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$600
93662
Weaver, Janice (Chris Lane, illus.)
Harry Houdini The Legend of the World's Greatest Escape Artist
Abrams Books for Young Readers/Abrams, New York NY, 2011.
Quarto; hardcover, with illustrated boards and endpapers; 48pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. This rags-to-riches story delves into the life of the great escapologist Harry Houdini, from his birth in a Hungarian ghetto, to his death from a ruptured appendix at the age of fifty-two. Along the way, we learn of his early efforts to break free of the poverty of his youth by performing in dime museums and sideshows; of his life on the vaudeville circuit where he was billed as "The King of the Handcuffs"; of his increasingly elaborate and ever-more-dangerous escape routines, including the famous "Chinese Water Torture Cell"; and of his ceaseless and fervent efforts to expose spiritualists, an obsession that caused a rift in his friendship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. A combination of original artwork and archival artifacts - including photographs, playbills and posters, letters, and even reproductions of Houdini's own stage props - brings the story of the world's greatest escape artist to new life.
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$16
95186
Woolley, Benjamin
The Queen's Conjuror The Science and Magic of Dr Dee
HarperCollins Publishers, London, 2001.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 394pp., with 24pp. of monochrome and colour plates and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; top joint cracked; page and text block edges browned and spotted. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Based on Dee's secret diaries, which record minutely his experiments with the occult and communications with angels, Ben Woolley's biography is an epic portrait of Dee's perilous quest for knowledge, set against the edgy, paranoid world of Elizabethan England and of Rudolf II's Holy Roman Empire. An epic and irresistible combination of biography, history, science, espionage and exploration, this Tudor world of "redye reckonynges" and alchemy has never felt so close or so dangerous.
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$22