Illustrated Magic by Ottokar Fischer

(c. 1931,1945) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

Details: Translated and edited by J.B. Mussey and Fulton Oursler.  In a similar fashion to Henry Hay’s Amateur Magician’s Handbook, Ottokar describes many of the essential tricks of magic, providing a good overview to the magic art. There have been many reprints of this book. Lots of diagrams and B&W photos.

In this book, Ottokar Fischer, internationally known authority on the art of magic, teaches hundreds of magic effects as produced by professionals, by amateurs and by the Fakirs of India. He explains the secrets of magical apparatus; illusion effects of the past and the present; feats of dexterity and skill; fakes, gimmicks and other secret accessories; vest-pocket magic; mathematical and sleight-of-hand card effects; mind reading, clairvoyance and telepathy; illusions; the mystery of escapes from chains, handcuffs, leg and neck irons, etc.; and puzzles and their close connection with magic.
 
In each case Fischer describes the effect as it is seen by the audience and then the means by which it is made possible— with the aid of scores of illustrations—so that the reader is let in behind the scenes and allowed to see the skill and ingenuity which have gone into the perfecting of the ancient and honorable art of magic.
 
An excellent guide and instruction manual that teaches the reader about the historical, the technical, and the performance aspects of magic.
 
With an introduction by Fulton Oursler and an unpublished chapter by the late Harry Kellar.

Contents (updated and corrected):

vii To the Reader (Ottokar Fischer): 1929

1 The Magic of Today (Fulton Oursler)
19 Three Secrets of Success for Every Magician (Harry Kellar)

25 Chapter I From Magic Man to Modern Conjurer

29 Chapter II Why You Can’t Always Trust Your Senses
29 Examples of Illusions of Touch: Aural and Optical Illusions
38 Illusions: Their role in magic

40 Chapter III The Secrets of Magical Apparatus
40 Objects of Magical Apparatus
40 Apparatus and Accessories of General Importance
40 – The Magic Wand
41 – The Magician’s Table
42 – Servantes
42 – Wells
42 – Pistons
42 – Spring Pulls
43 Artistic Treatment of Magical Effects
44 Classification of Magical Effects
44 Automata
44 Refinement, Simplification, and Perfecting of Magical Apparatus
45 Virtuosi of Stage Magic
46 The Conjurer’s Program
46 The Conjurer’s Patter
47 Interesting Magical Effects of an Earlier Period
47 – The Mysterious Orange-Tree
48 – Schiller’s Bell
49 – The Devil’s Target
50 – The Myserious Casket
50 – The Inexhaustible Punch-Bowl
52 – The Japanese Inexhaustible Box
54 Magical Effects of the Present
54 – Spring Flowers
54 – The Vanishing Bird Cage
54 – The Flags of All Nations
55 – The Blue Phantom
57 – Feather Bouquets
57 Comparison Between Old and New Tricks of Similar Effect

60 Chapter IV Feats of Dexterity and Skill
60 Adroitness and Dexterity
60 The Prestidigitator
61 The Conjurer’s Dress Suit
62 Classic Sleight-of-Hand Experiments
62 The Gallant Conjurer (Glass Bowl Production)
62 The Ring in Danger
65 The Traveling Handkerchiefs
67 The Multiplying Billiard Balls
69 The Miser’s Dream – Various Sleights with Coins
72 The Cups and Balls

73 Chapter V Fakes, Gimmicks and Other Secret Accessories
74 Thimble Tricks
75 Cigar Tricks

79 Chapter VI Vest-Pocket Magic
79 Vest-Pocket Tricks With Mechanical Accessories
79 – The Miniature Silk Handkerchief
81 – The Rattle Bars
82 – The Three Match-Boxes
82 – The Mircle of Confucious
83 – The Cigarette From Nowhere
84 – The Magic Cigarette Factory
85 – The Magic of Numbers
85 – The Snobbish Coin
88 – The Anti-Spiritualistic Cigarette-Paper
89 Pocket Tricks Requiring No Preparation
89 – The Wandering Coin
91 – The Magic Envelope
93 – The Four Journeymen (Coins, Cards and Handkerchief)
95 – The Hurculean Bank-Note
96 – The Lightning Knot
97 – The Torn and Restored Cigarette-Paper
98 – The Electric Tube
99 – The Floating Cane
100 – The Balancing Cigar
101 – The Rotating Cigar
101 – The Cut and Restored String
103 – The Penetrating Glass
104 – A Double Surprise

105 Chapter VII The Wonders of Card Magic
105 Historical Note on Playing Cards
106 Fundamental Sleights With Cards
107 – The Blind Cut
108 – The Change
109 — Top Change
110 — Bottom Change
111 – The False Shuffle
112 – The Force
113 The Glide
113 The Mexican Turnover
113 The Palm
114 The Pass
115 The Slip
115 The Set-Up Pack and Tricks Therewith
116 Other Mathematical Card Tricks
116 – The Inseperable Pairs
117 – The Card in the Pocket
118 Sleight-of-Hand Card Tricks
118 – With Pass, False-Shuffle, Blind Cut, and Slip
118 – With the Change (The Bewildering Aces)
120 – With the Glide (The Siamese Aces)
120 – With the Mexican Turnover (The Power of Gold)
121 – With the Palm (The Cards Up the Sleeve)
124 – The Magnetic Plate
124 – The Puzzling Prediction
126 – The Rising Cards
127 – The Queen of the Air
128 The Card Fountain
128 Flourishes
128 – The Back Palm
129 – Springing the Cards
129 – The Waterfall Drop
129 – The Turnover on the Arm
130 – Spread and Catch on Arm
130 – Throwing a Card
130 – Making a Fan
130 Dr. Reinhard Rohnstein and His Card Tricks

132 Chapter VIII Mind Reading, Clairvoyance, and Telepathy
132 Definition of Terms
132 Fake-Clairvoyant Experiements
132 – The X-Ray Eye
133 – Second Sight
134 – The Seer Swami’s Watch
134 – The Wonder of Language
135 Fake Thought Transference
136 – The Spoken Code, for Letters and Numbers
138 – “What is That?”
139 – Silent codes
139 — The Eye Code
140 — The Map Test
140 — The Great Book Test
141 — Finger Code
142 Telepathy
142 – The Pin Test
143 – Execution of a Task Thought by a Spectator
145 – Experiements Without Direct Contacct with the Control

146 Chapter IX Stage Illusions
146 The Term Illusion as Used in Magic
146 Varieties of Stage Illusions
147 Interesting Illusions
147 – The Window of the Enchanted House
147 – Mystery Oh!
148 – One-Two-Three
151 – Here-There
152 – Escape Illusions
153 – Adomey
154 – Aerolithe
154 – The Floating Yoghi
155 – Asra
156 – Sawing a Woman in Two, etc.
157 – Cassadaga

160 Chapter X Ghosts and Other Apparitions
161 Belief in Spirits and Belief in Magic
162 Spirit Apparitions in the Hands of Charlatans
163 The Magic Lantern Used to Produce Spirit Apparitions
163 Henri Robin’s Presentation of Moving Spirit Images
164 Their Imitation by Professor J.H. Pepper
165 Arrangement of a Stage for Spirit Apparitions
165 Effects Depending on the Robin-Pepper Principle
165 – The Blue Room

166 Chapter XI The Wonders of Black Art
166 Chance Discovery of Black Art
166 Ben Ali Bey and His Stage
167 Arrangement of the Black Cabinet
168 Ben Ali Bey’s Effects
168 – The Magnetized Drawing
168 – The Creation of a Woman by the Gods of the Orient
169 – The Soap-Bubbles
171 Predecessors of the Black Cabinet
171 – The Vanishing Horse

172 Chapter XII The Mystery of Escapes
173 Escapes from Rope Ties, Chains, etc.
173 – Hands Tied Behind Back
174 – The Davenport Tie
175 – Arms Crossed, Hands Tied Behind Back
176 – Ten Ichi Thumb Tie
177 Escapes from Handcuffs, Leg and Neck Irons, and Other Locking Devices
181 Escapes from Bags, Baskets, Boxes, Metal Recepticals, Stockades and Similar Restraints
183 Prison Escapes

186 Chapter XIII The Feats of the Fakirs 
186 Fakirs in Their Oriental Home 
187 Technique of the Indian Conjurers 
187 Mythical Tricks of the Fakirs and Attempts to Explain Them 
187 – The Indian Rope Trick         
189 – The Mango Trick 
189 – Burial Alive   
192 Other Oriental Conjuring Tricks 
192 – The Cups and Balls 
193 – The Magician’s Drum 
193 – The Transformation of the Pebble 
193 – The Indian Basket Trick 
194 – The Magic Sign 
195 Snake-Charmers and Other Indian Jugglers

196 Chapter XIV The Wonders of Puzzles
196 Puzzles and Their Close Connection with Magic
196 Puzzles of Separation
196 – The Chained Heart
197 – The Devil’s Keys
197 – The Mysterious Triangle
197 – The Hello Puzzle
198 – The Morning Star
199 – The Wonder-Block
200 – The Chinese Ladder
200 – The Blocks of Desperation
202 – Japanese Wooden Puzzles
202 Puzzles with Secret Fastenings
202 – The Mysterious Jewel-Casket
203 – The Matchbox
203 – The Surprise Box
203 – The Mysterious Bolt
204 – The Lucky Dollar
204 Cut-Out Puzzles
204 – The T Puzzle
204 Curious Puzzles
204 – The Screw Screwed Into the Bottle
205 – The Bottle Puzzle
206 – The Japanese Rods

  • Publisher: Macmillan Company
  • Pages: 206
  • Location: New York, USA
  • Dimensions: 7″x10″
  • Date: 1931, 1945
  • Binding: hardbound

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Approx. Price: $35.00 (2003) ***

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