Magic 1400s-1950s

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Postby Steve Bryant » 08/22/09 11:24 PM

I asked Mike Caveney about his new Taschen book, and he thought it might be available by October. I checked, and Amazon has it listed for pre-sale at a nice discount. If you saw the Circus book, you will definitely want the magic book. Amazon lists the title and credits as:

Magic 1400s-1950s (Hardcover)
by Mike Caveney (Author), Jim Steinmeyer (Author), Ricky Jay (Author), Noel Daniel (Editor)
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Postby Zig Zagger » 08/23/09 04:35 PM

There is a very nice preview of this lavish book online at TASCHEN now:

http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalog ... s1950s.htm
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Postby Dick Koornwinder » 09/23/09 08:43 AM

If you have missed this thread dont forget to try it out. Mike Caveney and Jim Steinmeyer has done a great job!

http://www.taschen.com/lookinside/00378/index.htm
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Postby Bob Baker » 11/11/09 09:56 PM

This is the most beautiful magic book I've ever seen. The quality of the reproductions is extraordinary. Some of the images are familiar, but as reproduced here gain great power. For instance, the familiar photo of Houdini in chains staring into the camera gets a full page by itself, and the forcefulness of the man surges from the page.

I haven't started to read the essays yet, but Jay and Steinmeyer are two of my favorite magic authors, so I'm sure there are treats within.

The amount of work and care that have gone into this book are remarkable, and I can't imagine a better value for your magic bucks.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/11/09 11:45 PM

Those of you who are on the fence about purchasing this will get a nice excerpt from two of Steinmeyer's chapters (condensed) along with some great images in the January issue of Genii. If that doesn't convince you to go to amazon and order it, nothing will.
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Postby David Alexander » 11/14/09 09:26 PM

My copy was waiting for me when I returned from the Magic History Conference. "Magnificent" seems too weak to apply to this truly unbelievable production. It is not a quick read, but more a fine wine that will be slowly savored over a long time.

Even at full price its a bargain.
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Postby magicam » 11/15/09 02:02 AM

Bob Baker wrote:... I haven't started to read the essays yet, but Jay and Steinmeyer are two of my favorite magic authors, so I'm sure there are treats within. ...

Jay is not one of the authors.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 11/15/09 03:53 AM

magicam wrote:
Bob Baker wrote:... I haven't started to read the essays yet, but Jay and Steinmeyer are two of my favorite magic authors, so I'm sure there are treats within. ...

Jay is not one of the authors.


As I sit here herniating my back with this monster, and after interviewing Jim & MIke RE: this book, I will point out that the dust jacket shows:

Noel Daniel (ED)
Authors Mike Caveney, Ricky Jay, Jim Steinmeyer

Obviously, the vast majority of the writing, captions and otherwise was produced by Jim & Mike who are listed as producing the Essays and captions. Ricky wrote the introduction and Noel was the Editor.

In addition, as you leaf through the book, you will find quite a bit of material from the collection of Ricky Jay.
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Postby Carlo Morpurgo » 11/15/09 12:36 PM

Massive....and beautiful....I've got the perfect coffee table for it (massive, with metal and tiles). It's a pleasure to peek inside it once in a while and browse through the beautiful images. The only thing that leaves me a bit puzzled is the choice they made regarding the chronological order.
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Postby Frank Yuen » 11/15/09 01:08 PM

The lastest issue of Magic has a "making of" article.
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Postby magicam » 11/15/09 04:17 PM

Magic Newswire wrote:
magicam wrote:
Bob Baker wrote:... I haven't started to read the essays yet, but Jay and Steinmeyer are two of my favorite magic authors, so I'm sure there are treats within. ...

Jay is not one of the authors.


As I sit here herniating my back with this monster, and after interviewing Jim & MIke RE: this book, I will point out that the dust jacket shows:

Noel Daniel (ED)
Authors Mike Caveney, Ricky Jay, Jim Steinmeyer

Obviously, the vast majority of the writing, captions and otherwise was produced by Jim & Mike who are listed as producing the Essays and captions. Ricky wrote the introduction and Noel was the Editor.

In addition, as you leaf through the book, you will find quite a bit of material from the collection of Ricky Jay.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but the dust jacket does not say Authors on it. And as the title page confirms, Jay is only credited for writing the brief introduction. Why he would be given the same billing as Mssrs. Caveney and Steinmeyer on the cover (thereby suggesting that he is in fact a co-author of this book) is something that only these gentlemen, the publisher and editor can answer. But in light of the great contribution this book represents to magic, the somewhat confusing "billing" on the cover is of little moment. The only point in responding to Bob Baker was to clarify that Jay is not a co-author of this book, at least in the traditional sense of the term author.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/15/09 04:51 PM

I'm sure Ricky Jay's name is used so prominently because he is far more well known to the general public than the actual authors. The prominence of the name makes business sense, even if it muddies the water a bit.

I have a book coming out for the public shortly, and David Copperfield's name appears on the cover, but it is preceeded by the words "Foreword by."
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Postby Jim Riser » 11/17/09 07:52 PM

As I cut up this large book to make mini posters for the wall, I am finding quite a number of back-to-back images/pictures that I will want to use. So, it looks like I'll need another copy to make all of the mini-posters I want. Perhaps a third copy to keep intact might be a good idea too. At least there are no autographs messing up the pictures.






























Just kidding, of course. This book is incredible!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 11/17/09 07:57 PM

I knew someone in University who had a copy of Giger's Necronomicon, which he cut up to use as posters on his wall.

Freak.

Still, his wall looked awesome...

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/17/09 09:34 PM

Ian, I also have Giger's book, and it's really nice for decoupage.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 11/17/09 10:52 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Ian, I also have Giger's book, and it's really nice for decoupage.


Wow, impressed (in a good way)

Such nice warm homey images ... Martha Stewart goes bizarrist.
And over here we have a coffee table and biomechanical chair set - Ikea updated with a little effort.

:D
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 11/18/09 12:08 AM

I wonder when the first copy will hit Ebay. It might be a tough sell.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 11/18/09 04:56 AM

I could never afford Necronomicon, and the envy made the cutting that much worse. I've got most of his other stuff, though. At school I had a full size poster of Li II on my study wall, which caused some raised eyebrows...

I ordered a copy of the Magic book for my self Crimbo present a couple of days ago. No idea where I'm going to store it.

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Postby Jim Riser » 11/18/09 03:06 PM

We joke about it, but if I wanted to decorate a magic themed club, den, bathroom, bar, restaurant, etc., I would not hesitate to buy 5-10 copies to cut up for decor. This would be very cost effective and provide interesting eye candy for the patrons. As Richard mentioned, decoupaged table tops would be a perfect application for these treasures. There is sooooo much potential for this book!
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 11/18/09 05:10 PM

And they burn real slow to keep you nice and toasty.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 12/10/09 10:03 PM

Well it's been quiet with the book since the first week out. Here's the first listing of it on Ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Magic-Trick-Magic-1 ... 5637e75735
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/10/09 10:15 PM

That's incredibly stupid! Who would pay that seller over $300 when you can buy it on amazon for $126?
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Postby Richard Perrin » 12/10/09 10:52 PM

$303.25
WOW!!!!
Richard, I agree!
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Postby erdnasephile » 12/10/09 11:03 PM

It is foolish, but sometimes the heart pounces before the brain checks things out!

I actually think the price will end up dropping because I suspect the percentage of magic hobbyists who actually care about history is pretty small. (I'm basing this opinion on how long it takes Mike Caveney's excellent history-related books to typically sell out)

Then again, once they're gone...look out! :)
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/10/09 11:21 PM

Taschen printed something like 9,000 of these books. I doubt they will run out anytime soon. I'm pretty sure the circus book is still in print.

The only way that book is worth $300 is if it is among the approximately 100 (if that) that are signed by Steinmeyer, Caveney, and Daniel. (Ricky Jay chose not to sign them when given the opportunity.)

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Postby erdnasephile » 12/10/09 11:34 PM

9,000? Wow...in that case, perhaps the price will indeed drop in the future. I'm glad to be able to enjoy mine now though.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/11/09 12:50 AM

The Circus book is officially sold out (I've heard), so whatever stock is out there is just selling down. They will probably reprint.

I see no reason why they wouldn't reprint the Magic book as well if it sells out (and I heard they printed less than 9,000).
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 12/11/09 03:34 AM

The thing we have to keep in mind is the marketing experts at Taschen aren't going to let this book flounder. It's in three languages, which braodens its appeal, it's a stunning book that folks other than magic history geeks are going to enjoy. I also heard that another edition with three other languages is in the works.
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Postby Marco Pusterla » 12/11/09 04:55 AM

Yes: the version in Italian, Spanish and Portoguese will be out sometimes in January (source: Taschen) and, apparently, will have a different cover artwork: http://www.books.it/taschen.php?bid=2203
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Postby erdnasephile » 12/11/09 09:17 AM

Dustin Stinett wrote:The thing we have to keep in mind is the marketing experts at Taschen aren't going to let this book flounder. It's in three languages, which braodens its appeal, it's a stunning book that folks other than magic history geeks are going to enjoy. I also heard that another edition with three other languages is in the works.


You are probably right, Dustin. (Currently, the book has a sales rank on Amazon US of around #5,400, which seems pretty doggone good IMHO when you think about how many books are out there).

In terms of broad appeal, I looked on the Amazon page on what other works people who buy Magic 1400s-1950s purchase. So far, it looks like many of the initial purchases are from people who are interested in the same stuff magic geeks are. (Of course, this is a biased sample in that it is limited to early adopters and people who bought from Amazon US. Plus, the purchasers may not be magic geeks but just like magic geek stuff--although if you are into that stuff, you'll be a magic geek before long I reckon :) )
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Postby Talbot » 12/11/09 11:15 AM

I picked up an abbreviated copy of the Taschen Circus book (approx. 360 pages) at Chapters (In Canada) for approx. $30.00. I wonder if they will print an abbrevaited version of the Magic book next year for the general public? Could not find any refernce to this smaller version on their website.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 12/11/09 12:07 PM

The smaller version, available for under $20 from Barnes & Noble here, was not printed by Taschen but by B&N, I believe. It has half the page count (eliminating the French and German text) and about half the illustrations. I haven't seen it to compare it but I understand that the paper is not as good either. I assume that the full chapter texts are there and the captions of those images present. Editor Noel did not know if a similarly reduced and priced version of the Magic book would happen. Probably depends on how well the circus version sells... I can't seem to find it on the Barnes and Noble site anymore, though have been told it is still in the shops...
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Postby Talbot » 12/11/09 12:31 PM

Thanks Richard. Not having the full version to comapre to this abbreviated version is still an impressive book particularly for $30 or less. Plus I can read it without getting a hernia!
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 12/11/09 01:11 PM

It was listed in the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly(with, ironically, a tiny picture of the cover)...
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 01/03/10 01:24 AM

Now with FREE Shipping!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Magic-1400-1950s-by ... 27adc3537b

Time to buy?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 01:41 AM

The eBay seller wants ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS IS HE INSANE?
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Postby Richard Hatch » 01/03/10 01:45 AM

Curiously, both Amazon.com and the Taschen site show the book as not in stock. Is the first printing sold out? If so, will it be reprinted? It is still in stock at the British and German amazon sites, so perhaps only the first wave of copies sent to the US are sold out. Ingram, the exclusive wholesaler for Taschen on this title, is out of stock with 40 copies on back order...
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/03/10 02:01 AM

Either the books sold more quickly than expected, or a bunch of them are lost at sea--perhaps Somali pirates got 'em.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/03/10 02:22 AM

I was told that, just prior to Christmas, the manager of the Taschen store in Beverly Hills said that they were "flying off the shelf."

If it really is out of print already, I'd count on a reprint. But I'm more inclined to (sort of) agree with Richard on this: They are probably in a container on a ship headed to the US.

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Postby Mike Rozek » 01/03/10 03:56 AM

I saw at least 2 copies on the shelf at the Taschen store at The Grove this evening. It would be pretty amazing if it is truly out of print. I believe the initial printing was approx. 9000 copies.
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