Hoffmann, Professor. Modern Magic [first US edition]

Professor Hoffmann

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Hoffmann, Professor. Modern Magic: A Practical Treatise on the Art of Conjuring

New York: George Routledge and Sons, ND (circa 1882). Hardback 8vo; first American edition. Pp [i-v], vi-xvii, [xviii], 1-563 followed by blank with botanical device and two pages of advertisements by Peck & Snyder for seven conjuring tricks. Original publisher’s brick-red cloth with blocked gilt and black images of various stage-magic accoutrements to front board, gilt and black title and images to spine, black embossed image to rear board; frontispiece showing Living Head trick; profuse black and white illustrations throughout. No dust jacket. Condition: Near-fine. Rubbing to extremities; corners slightly bumped; quarter-inch tears to head and tail of front hinge; small closed tear to bottom edge of ffep; stains between pp 158-159 and 188-189 from pressed flowers; occasional foxing; previous owner’s inscription to front blank: William M. Kapus. Portland Oregon Christmas 1885. Otherwise a clean, tight copy. $150

Professor Louis Hoffmann (Angelo John Lewis, 1839–1919) was the pre-eminent writer on stage magic in the late nineteenth century, author of numerous instructional guides as well as fictional works on the same subject. Modern Magic, first serialized in Every Boy’s Magazine, is Professor Hoffmann’s best-known book and represents the first attempt in English at a comprehensive exposition of the art of conjuring.       

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