Phantom of the Card Table, Critical Edition

Book by Conjuring Arts Research Center
39.00 In stock.
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4.7 | 7 reviews
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Phantom of the Card Table, Critical Edition

39.00 usd

Book by Conjuring Arts Research Center (39.00)

In stock.

The Phantom of the Card Table was originally a typescript that was written and circulated by Edward McGuire at the end of 1930 through about 1932. This became an instant underground classic and all the prominent card men of that time, including Dai Vernon, were entranced by it.

The reason this little typescript was sought after was its subject, Walter Scott. In the summer of 1930, Scott and McGuire traveled to New York City and held a very private exhibition of what was then and should be now considered to be the greatest sleight of hand ever done! Scott allowed the other magicians to shuffle their own deck and give it to him and he could still deal out winning hands of cards. This completely fooled those who witnessed it that summer. One of the few invited to see this master was Cardini, who exclaimed after seeing Scott, "Scott is 500 years ahead of Erdnase!" Once the two men met they became lifelong friends and Cardini, naturally, wanted to learn the work Scott was doing. This desire led to Eddie McGuire writing down what Walter told him and sending it in a number of letters to Cardini. Some of these letters (not all) would later be collected in part by McGuire and offered for sale to select magicians who had heard of the now legendary Walter Scott. The later typescripts McGuire sold were not illustrated in any way and did not reveal all the information that had been sent to Cardini. Cardini's copy had hand-drawn illustrations of some elements of Scott's work and it also contained a very nice section (never before published) of answers to questions that Dai Vernon was asking of Scott. To further make Cardini's copy special, Cardini, who was an amateur photographer, convinced Scott to sit for some photos of the work being done. We believe these were taken for Cardini's sole and personal use, and these amazing photos are published here for the first time and make this work much more approachable.

Now you can own this never before published typescript with additional materials and Cardini's original 1930s photos. This wonderful material is augmented by other articles most of which have never been published and photos of Scott and others in private meetings, also of which have never before been published. We have also gone to great lengths to make this a critical edition by having Lori Pieper and Maxwell Pritchard painstakingly go through several other known typescripts and published versions and making over 1300 critical notes letting the careful reader understand what is different in this version versus other later versions that exist.

This wonderful book was designed and laid out by Stephen Minch and was offset printed on archival natural stock in full color and with sewn signatures. We chose to use an 8 1/2 x 11' format so that the student can easily lay the book flat during study. We have also put the step by step photos taken by Cardini on two fold-out page so that they can all be seen at once and be used while the text is open as well. We also used a very supple leather feel material that is both blind burnished as well as foil stamped. And we even put in a ribbon so you can keep your place during your studies.

Don't miss this opportunity to get what we believe will be the greatest, most complete, and most beautiful edition of this work ever printed.


Customer reviews for Phantom of the Card Table, Critical Edition



As one who has a collection of magic community magazines and a few books dating from around the early 1900s, I hold that history of magic is as important as learning technique.
This book provides a wealth of both.
Thrilled to have added this tome to my library.



Great quality in every way. If you're interested in the Walter Scott story this is essential reading in terms of both practical and historic study


Dan Thorpe Guitar Ltd

This book is quality in every way. It is well made and looks good.
It is no good having a book that is strong and looks good if the content is poor. In this case you will not be let down. Initially I read the standard edition of Phanton of the Card Table which is excellent. Then there is this edition which takes it to another level. The extra content and images are amazing. This is a book everyone learning sleight of hand should read.



I read about this book on "Expert Card Technique" and I've been always intrigued about the content and the author. When I started to read it I just realize I should have bought this books a decade before!
The descriptions are really good and the details very useful. I love the edition and the pictures and comments about the author and the way Cardini lettered him.

I highly recommend it!!



Probably the best remake of any old book I have ever had the fortune to hold. The quality is superb from the cover down to each page. I love the feel of the cover and it is striking in its looks. The engraving and gold embossing are a classy touch. Pages are bound in a method that looks like it will last a very long time. Pages have the old typed look but solid weight paper. Book lies open to allow great views of the awesome pictures. Some of the pages are able to fold out so you can see four pages of positions at once. I love the additional material with all the historic photos. I am very anxious to spend some serious time and sweat and blood practicing what this treasure contains.



This book I would say falls into the category of the serious student of gambling techniques. These techniques can certainly be used in magic but its more for esoteric tastes. Collectors will love this book as it reproduces the original typescript and it feels like you are holding a 70 year old book in your hands (albeit in fantastic condition). The techniques are well-explained but personally, I find this book to me more of a curiosity than anything else. The production values are good and the book has a semi-hard leather binding. Pretty top-notch.

VI Monthly


Best source on learning to second deal.


Professional Review Phantom of the Card Table, Critical Edition

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  • Michael asks: How many pages is the book?

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