Impossible Deck Vanish (Houlette Style) by Robert Jackson

(c. 1985) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)

The vanish of a deck of cards vs the vanish of a card case are two different but related effects. In the first effect you vanish the cards themselves but not the deck and in the latter you vanish the whole card case including the cards. When referring to a Vanishing Deck on this page I am referring to the vanish of the cards not the card case itself.

Over the years there have been dozens of versions and variations:

  • Earlier methods as far back as Robert Houdin c. 1881, Sixth Method: To Vanish a Pack of Cards using a gibecière (pouch-like device around the waist) in The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic translated by Professor Hoffmann. Edwin Sachs c. 1885, Sleight of Hand (under The Palm) using a wand and a tossing motion as misdirection, and Harry Mendoza c. 1941 Genii Vol.6 No.3 in The Vanishing Deck of Cards, involved varying degrees of sleight of hand and misdirection.
  • Theodore L. De Land appears to have been the first dealer to have created a gimmicked deck to vanish the cards. In fact, he created two very different methods: c. 1909 he created nickel painted tip wand and ribbon of paper to look like a deck of cards. Then c. 1914 he created a fake deck using thin white paper which is crumpled and tossed.
  • Milbourne Christopher and Hen Fetcsh c. 1947 in Magic at Your Fingertips Etho Vanishing Card Case (pg. 25) which although it is the vanish of the card case and not the deck is clearly a predecessor to the modern methods we use today.
  • Ken Brooke c. 1950 Unconventional Magic edited by Lewis Ganson Chapter 7 Ken Brooke’s Presentation of the Vanishing Card Case and Cards (pg. 33)
  • Paul Harris c. 1973 also created another variation on the Milbourne Christopher idea with his P.H. Vanishing Deck published in Book 1 – The Art of Astonishment (Pg. 41). Where he vanishes the deck and then it reappears back inside the card case.

All of these bring me to the effect which I believe is the predecessor to most of the modern versions of Vanishing Deck – this item the Impossible Deck Vanish (Houlette Style) .

Effect: This limited edition item was created by the talented craftsman Robert Jackson.

  • A wood box is introduced and opened to reveal a packaged deck of cards.
  • The packaged deck is removed from the box and opened.
  • The deck is slid from its case and the individual cards are shown.
  • The cards are returned to their case; the case is placed back inside the wood box; the cover is placed back on the box.
  • The fingers are snapped and the wood box is opened. The packaged deck has vanished.

One of the most beautifully-made illusions you can own, each IMPOSSIBLE DECK VANISH is meticulously hand-made from the finest hard and soft woods. Varnished and hand-rubbed, each box is then finished to perfection with the addition of four hand-made brass comers.

Not only is Robert Jackson’s craftsmanship the ultimate, but equally so is the stunning illusion of making a complete deck of cards disappear. It’s all done in full audience view and required ABSOLUTELY NO SLEIGHTS OR FANCY HANDLING.

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Approx. Price: $99.95 (2009) ***

Notice: I am not a dealer and this item is not for sale on this site. It maybe available in the links below or at our sister site:, but not from here so please do not ask.
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