The long-awaited magnum opus on one of history’s greatest magicians, Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser.
Preview of Volume I
Preview of Volume II
J. N.Hofzinser is one of the most significant magicians to have thrived in the nineteenth century, and has been a role model for great magicians ever since. He is the inventor of some of the best and most enduring card tricks ever created. Yet information on his life and magic has been scant and filled with errors.
Hofzinser was a resident and well-known figure in nineteenth-century Vienna. More than twenty years ago, another highly respected and honored Viennese professional magician, Magic Christian, took on the task of enlarging and correcting the record we have of his predecessor. After doing extensive research over decades, and studying thousands of original sources, Magic Christian has managed to totally revise what we know about J. N.Hofzinser. The result is an exhaustive study of this master and his extraordinarily creative magic.
Given the abundant resources Magic Christian has uncovered, he is able to present a picture of Hofzinser that puts flesh on the shadow of the only previous portrait we have, which was created by Ottokar Fischer over one hundred years ago. In Christian’s first volume, through numerous recently discovered documents, we get to know Hofzinser as a determined individualist, a published poet and composer, a respected music critic, an insightful analyst of his contemporaries in magic, and an inspired magician.
Through systematic research in public and private archives, Christian found new material on Hofzinser and his life’s journey. He has also examined and evaluated existing material and has reproduced it for the first time in its authentic form. All this creates an essential work, one that imparts an authentic picture of Viennese conjuring in the nineteenth century, told through the life and magic of J. N.Hofzinser.
The second volume of NON PLUS ULTRA: J. N.HOFZINSER presents all of the master’s card magic, which was a specialty of this brilliant magician. This volume provides an in-depth study and explanation of Hofzinser’s huge contributions to the field.
Descriptions of card tricks can be found as early as the sixteenth century. During the centuries that followed, a body of sleights and techniques steadily developed and grew. But Hofzinser was the first to bring this art from the tavern into the salon, to amaze and delight society’s elite. The system of sleights he developed, his cunning use of regular decks in combination with trick cards, and above all the wealth of effects he invented, opened up possibilities that enabled the fertile growth of card magic to the present day. The reception of Hofzinser’s inventions by Dai Vernon and many other outstanding card magicians of the twentieth century proves the enduring qualities of his work.
Magic Christian has spent years researching Hofzinser and discussing his magic with magicians throughout the world. By this effort, he has been able to revise, correct, reconstruct and greatly enlarge what we know of Hofzinser’s life and card magic. The result is this magnificent two-volume set of books, a work that is already considered a fundamental text, and will serve as a springboard for further developments in this fascinating art of magic done with playing cards.
This large-format, hardcover set of books is one of our most handsome productions – a total of 861 pages, filled with reproductions of rare photos and artwork to accompany an exhaustive coverage of Hofzinser, the man and all his card magic – all contained in an attractive and sturdy slipcase. Only 900 sets of these books are being produced for sale. Written and designed to please the historian, the bibliophile and the serious card magician, these books are expected to sell out quickly. We recommend that, to avoid disappointment, you do not hesitate in ordering your set.