Drop Change and Ambitious card

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Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 07/18/02 08:55 AM

Where did the drop change ( with a card) and The ambitious card routine originate.
Thanks
Andrew
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Postby Guest » 07/18/02 12:37 PM

On the drop change I am unsure but the "Ambitious card" can be traced at least as far back
as the 1840's to the Austrian Conjurer Johann Hofzinser. Though givin the nature of the routine, I would suspect that it goes as far back as to when the first tricks were done with cards soon after the "pasteboards" were invented.

Regards,

Mark
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/18/02 04:51 PM

The Drop Change is a name given by Ed Marlo to Jack Merlin's Tip-Over Change when Marlo republished it (or published his version of it) without credit to Merlin in the 1940s. I believe Merlin's original sleight was published in his series of three mimeographed manuscripts from the 1920s, "And a Pack of Cards." (This is not the re-edited version by Jean Hugard that Holden put out decades later.)
I don't recall seeing the Tip-Over Change (Drop Sleight) in print prior to that.
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Postby pduffie » 07/19/02 01:20 AM

Hi Richard

Do you the date of Merlin's publication of the Drop Switch? Stanley Collins published it - fully illustrated - in Collins's Card Conceits in 1925.

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Peter
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/19/02 07:45 AM

Peter,
I had completely forgotten about the Collins thing! You are correct: what does Collins call the sleight?
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Postby pduffie » 07/19/02 07:55 AM

Hi Richard

Collins doesn't call it anything - he explains it as part of the method of a trick called "All Fours."

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Peter
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Postby Reinhard Mueller » 07/19/02 01:19 PM

Two notes:
1. Jack Merlin's “Merlin at the Card Table“ was written by Charles J. Maly , edited by A.W.C. Brumfield, and published 1927-1928.
2. The Ambitous Card effect is attributed to Gustave Alberti who was a professional card magician in French provinces in 1860 – 1875 [Volkmann; Whaley 2000].
May I draw your attention to Peter Warlock's New Pentagram, Vol.7, No.5, July 1975, pp.35 –36: “Tracing a Classic to it's Lair”. There is described “The Ambitious Card” by Hoffmann from his Drawing Room Conjuring (1887). Sleights: Pass and Top Change.

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Reinhard
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/19/02 01:29 PM

Thank you, Reinhard, please contribute your informative notes more often!
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Postby Sean Piper » 07/19/02 06:38 PM

Just wondering...

How does the Drop Change differ from Wesley James' 'Coming Up in the World'?

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Sean.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/19/02 07:44 PM

Wesley's item is a sequence, the Drop Sleight is, well, a sleight. The Drop Sleight was used to drop a single card on top of the noted card as it was turned face down. Wesley's sleight dropped two cards, putting the chosen card third.
The top card is then spread off and openly slipped into the OTHER half of the deck, ostensibly loosing the selection. Then that half of the deck is inserted into the center of the other half (which is held in the left hand).
The noted card is now second from the top, and you are ready to do a Double Lift and continue your Ambitious Card routine.
It is a great sequence.
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Postby Andrew Martin Portala » 07/19/02 08:08 PM

Thanks so much guys!!
Richard and Sean Thank you for bring up Wesley's sequence. Because I thought that was the drop change that I was doing in my ambitious card routine.Now where did this come from?
Thanks
You guys are the best! :)
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Postby Guest » 07/19/02 09:52 PM

"No book {ed. 'On Card Magic'} ......could be considered complete without touching on an 'ambitious card' routine." This is the term for any routine in which a card keeps magically rising to the top of the deck" Harry Lorayne THE MAGIC BOOK c. 1977

Such has been my understanding also. This effect, like so many in our calling has had many slight variations and many more names. This makes dating an effect very difficult sometimes especially when many wish credit for their own variation.

The name of an effect generally must be stripped and the method also. It is the END RESULT, the result in the eyes of the lay audience that is important. The name does not matter to the lay audience nor does the method (of which they should be unaware). It is the fact that (in this instance) their card kept appearing on the top of the deck (or on the pile on the table or on their hand or ..........) after being 'Lost' in the deck that they remember.

In Victorian times (and earlier, take a look at Scott's 'DISCOVERY' or Pinchbeck's 'THE EXPOSITOR') names of effects tended to 'flow with the breeze' and be lengthy and descriptive. It was later during the "hurried times" of Vaudeville that titles had to be shortened and effects renamed for the benefit of the Billboard and the new generations.

This was also true for the new "Masters of the Art" whom of course does not repeat the same effects as the previous artist who appeared just 2 weeks ago or does he but under his own name for the effect?

All of this is to emphasize the difficulty in absolutely crediting anybody with a particular effect before our current age of documentation. It is much easier to credit method (of which only we are supposed to be aware) than effect.

And such was my point with my prior post on the "Ambitious Card". An effect with such a simple theme must have been done for some time. Technical ability certainly has been around for some couple of centuries. Look only to the gambling fraternity for that (remember Erdnase?).

As to the same effect being documented, please refer to Downs's THE ART OF MAGIC chapter three, an effect titled "Everywhere and Nowhere". "This brilliant trick was the invention of the late Dr. Hofzinzer, of Vienna ..." a quote from the book. This effect is in fact a very elaborate version of none other than "the Ambitious Card"!

Hofzinzer (a man of many talents) was born in 1806 and was a well-known (in higher Viennese Society) conjurer giving as many as three performances weekly by the middle 1840's. At that time, He was by his own admission "already a Colonel" in the art of Magic. He passed away in March 1875.

I hope this information and commentary is of use.

Respectfully Submitted.

Mark :)
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