London: Printed for T. Hughes and C. Chaple, .
Hardcover. This 1815 guide to sleight of hand magic comprises 50 tricks from Victorian conjurer Thomas Ingleby, each with full description and explanation, with tricks including decapitating a rooster and restoring it to life, stopping and starting time on a watch at will, and cutting a card free from a shoulder of mutton which one of the company had previously drawn from a deck. This copy lacks the hand-colored frontispiece, replaced by a high quality color facsimile.
Ex libris magician Burton S. Sperber, with his bookplate to rear pastedown: "Those who know don't tell. Those who tell don't know." Burton Sperber (1929-2011) was a mentalist and magic collector, a member of the Magic Castle since 1965, as well as the Inner Magic Circle of the Magic Circle in London, the informal club of mentalists in Los Angeles known as the Delta Group, and the Psychic Entertainers Association. Sperber contributed articles to Magick, was a contributing editor for the Sorcerer's Attic, and authored six books on magic and magic bibliography. His collection of books on magic was one of the nation’s largest, dating to the 1500s, as attested to in his obituary in the L. A. Times.
6 7/8" X 4 1/4". [i-v], vi-xxiv, [i], 2-106, plus 1 blank leaf. Bound in original dark gray printed paper-backed boards, with spine backed in later dark blue Morocco leather. Heavy rubbing to extremities, with boards bared at edges and corners, along with discoloration to paper over boards, and small inkstain to rear board, not intruding on text. Stains to front pastedown, with added webbing visible, and thick white paper inserted between pastedowns and free endpapers, likely reinforcing hinges. Binding is firm, tight, and sound. Half-title present. Lacking hand-colored frontispiece, with high quality color facsimile inserted in its stead, depicting a magician in hat and robe waving his hand over three children. Mild scattered foxing to pages throughout; text is fully legibile and complete. [Toole Stott: English Conjuring 410]. Good. Item #9967