One-hand shuffle

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
Guest

One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 21st, 2007, 8:57 am

Does anyone know where the one-hand shuffle comes from? Who is credited with it?

Thanx,
Seb

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2424
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Kevin Connolly » March 21st, 2007, 9:49 am

The first time I saw it was in a Hugard's Monthly from the mid 1940s. I don't remember who was mentioned in though.

Good Luck,
Kevin
Please visit my website.
http://houdinihimself.com/
I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 21st, 2007, 10:03 am

Was it Howard de Courcy?

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 21st, 2007, 10:34 am

Yes, it was Howard de Courcy, and it was in an issue of HMM from the mid-1940s. If I remember correctly (I always have to add that proviso these days) there was the one-handed faro shuffle and also a one-handed overhand shuffle, which no one ever seems to mention. I'll check tonight, unless someone else beats me to it.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22965
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 21st, 2007, 11:04 am

Cliff Green may have the been the first to actually do a One-Handed Shuffle. In his book Professional Card Magic, he explains that in trying to develop an act for vaudeville, he was inspired to create a One-Hand Shuffle after seeing a silent film of someone rolling a cigarette with one hand.
While Green's shuffle has not been published, it was captured on film (which still exists :) ).
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Kevin Connolly
Posts: 2424
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: New Jersey

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Kevin Connolly » March 21st, 2007, 11:20 am

And you thought I only knew about Houdini. ;)
Please visit my website.

http://houdinihimself.com/

I buy,sell + trade Houdini, Hardeen items.

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 21st, 2007, 11:20 am

Richard,
How does Cliff's One-Handed Shuffle compare with de Courcy's?

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22965
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 21st, 2007, 11:49 am

It's different--not a Riffle Shuffle.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 21st, 2007, 4:18 pm

It was the December 1945 issue of HMM. I don't know about Cliff Green's shuffle, but in HMM it says de Courcy invented it and it was shown to several card men in America.

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 21st, 2007, 5:03 pm

Thanks a lot,
Seb

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » March 27th, 2007, 7:41 pm

There's reason to believe that de Courcy was not the originator, but rather Nate Leipzig. In the December 1969 issue of "The New Pentagram", Peter Warlock quoted the following passage from a letter to him from Stanley Collins on July 30th, 1940:

As a student of the history of conuring, you will be interested to know that the one-handed riffle shuffle (wrongly attributed to De Courcey by Dr. Gery) was shown to me by Leipzig somewhere about 1915. I practised it at the time and did it fairly well.
While it may not seem to be Leipzig's style -- he would never display any kind of skill before an audience -- he did dabble with flourishes on occasion, so it doesn't strike me as entirely out of place for him.

-Jim

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » March 28th, 2007, 9:50 am

Also of note in my above post is that the Collins letter was from 1940, five years prior to the publication in HMM. I don't who the Dr. Gery is that Collins referred to, or when/where he made the claim that the move was the creation of Howard de Courcy. It'd be interesting to know if that was in private letters or published in one of the magazines, perhaps over in England, since that's where Collins, Warlock, and de Courcy were from. A quick search in AskAlexander didn't turn up anything, but I will dig deeper to see if I can locate anything.

-Jim

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » March 28th, 2007, 9:59 am

Digging further, it appears that Dr. Jacques Gery was a French amateur magician, who wrote a book entitled "Les Principles Brillantes de la Manipulation des Cartes." I assume that this is where the item was published. Looks like it may have been released in 1950, however, so perhaps Warlock put the wrong date when he printed the excerpt of Collins' letter. If that's the case, then it would seem that Hugard's Magic Monthly would still be the original source, though the credit to de Courcy is still uncertain.

-Jim

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22965
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 28th, 2007, 10:15 am

I believe I have that book on card manipulations in my library! Too bad I don't read French.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » March 28th, 2007, 10:25 am

I'm pretty sure that "Howard de Courcy" reads the same in French as it does in English. ;) Any chance you could skim through it to see if his name appears? Or at least double check the copyright date, if it's listed? I'd appreciate the help.

Thanks!

-Jim

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 28th, 2007, 11:33 am

I took a look at my copy of Dr. Gery's book. It is dated 1949 on the title page, so Warlock was likely off by a decade in his dating of Collins letter (unless the material had been serialized in a French periodical earlier). On the last page of the book, it notes that 600 copies were printed in Metz, France on November 1, 1949, 580 regular numbered copies and 20 special copies (numbered I-XX). He does refer to the one hand riffle as the "de Courcy" shuffle, noting that it is of recent and Anglosaxon provenance. Earlier in the book, he does cite Farelli as having credited Leipzig with a post two handed riffle flourish that results in a second waterfall of the cards (the first time the cards don't completely mesh, then you invert the hands and repeat the waterfall flourish onto the thumbs, rather than the fingers. See figure 6, page 26). This is for a two handed riffle, but does indicate that Leipzig played with such flourishes, which is not surprising. Anyone have the Farelli reference to the latter flourish handy?

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » March 28th, 2007, 11:41 am

Richard H.: It's in one of the "Farelli's Card Magic" books, I believe Volume 1. That flourish is mainly what I was referring to when I mentioned above about Leipzig dabbling in flourishes.

BTW, Richard, is the Gery book part of the H&R stock, or is it from your personal collection?

-Jim

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » March 28th, 2007, 11:51 am

Alas, part of my personal collection. I paid more than I'd like to admit for it in a French auction a couple of years ago, after having missed out on a copy on eBay with but a single bidder (you know who you are, Glenn!). In discussing this double waterfall flourish, he says Farelli considers it quite spectacular, but he (Gery) has never been able to get the second waterfall to look like much, since the initial waterfall meshes the cards too much. Has anyone had success with the double waterfall?
The book's chief interest, I think, is the incredible photos of French flourish virtuoso Jean Valton (an early FISM winner) performing the feats. He did a music hall act of just card flourishes and some of the spreads, catches and cascades are really breathtaking in these photos, and must have been incredible to see live. Anyone know of any footage of Valton performing?

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » March 28th, 2007, 11:58 am

I attempted to work out the double waterfall a year or two ago, but had the same issue that Gery did -- too much of a mesh on the initial waterfall. I didn't spend a whole lot of time on it then, but it is on my list of items to work out. Maybe I'll bump it up and start working on it again.

-Jim

Guest

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Guest » April 1st, 2007, 12:22 am

So far as I know, my father, Howard de Courcy, was the originator of the one-hand shuffle. There is film available on Britishpathe of him performing the one-hand shuffle in February 1944.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 22965
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 1st, 2007, 8:00 am

Welcome to the Forum, John, and thank you for that bit of information!
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jim Maloney_dup1
Posts: 1709
Joined: July 23rd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Location: Northern New Jersey
Contact:

Re: One-hand shuffle

Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » April 1st, 2007, 9:36 am

John,
Thanks for chiming in here. I've been doing some extensive research into Nate Leipzig for the last several years, and so far the reference I gave above is the only mention I have of him doing this type of shuffle. While I'm not ready to reassign credit based on that one item (I'd need stronger evidence than that), the fact that Stanley Collins recalls Leipzig performing the sleight and teaching it to him before your father was born is certainly the kind of thing that warrants further research, which I am attempting to do.

Do you have any information on when/how your father developed this shuffle? I'm sure that would be of interest to most folks here.

-Jim


Return to “Magic History and Anecdotes”