ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Bob Coyne
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » February 2nd, 2014, 9:52 am

Marty Demarest wrote:The title of the article, "Montana's Conjurers, Con Men and Card Cheats," sums up the general subject. But the specific focus is on W.E. Sanders and S.W. Erdnase.


Is this article available online in some form?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 2nd, 2014, 10:32 am

Bob Coyne wrote:Is this article available online in some form?

No.

Marty Demarest
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » February 3rd, 2014, 7:22 pm

Bob, the article is not available online. But according to the ever-helpful Julie Eng:

Julie Eng wrote:If you are interested in purchasing a back issue of the Winter 2013 Vol 63, No. 4, Tammy Ryan from subscriptions is a very helpful lady who suggests that you either email her or call her to place your order: Email tryan@mt.gov or Phone 406-444-4708.


I know that some bookstores and museums can order copies of the magazine, too, which might save on shipping costs. Around Montana you can buy it in gas stations.

And thanks, Bill, for your comments. But I must disagree with you about one thing: Burt Wonderstone was an incredibly accurate movie. To my reporter's eyes it captured magicians perfectly. :D

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 3rd, 2014, 8:37 pm

Shame on you, Marty!
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Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 5th, 2014, 1:44 am

So I got my copy of Montana now, and I look forward to reading it in depth. But a couple of quick comments.

1. I like footnotes better than endnotes.

2. Marty does not assert that WES was SWE. In fact, at the end of the article, in his conclusions, he explicitly says "If W. E. Sanders wrote The Expert at the Card Table . . . "

3. The notes about Marty Demarest at the end of the article says he is "the author of a forthcoming article about S. W. Erdnase in Genii: The Conjurer's Magazine." When is this coming out, Richard?

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 5th, 2014, 9:54 pm

Don't miss your chance to purchase a first edition of Erdnase and the ultra rare Hutchinson book, at the Saturday's Potter & Potter Sperber auction.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 6th, 2014, 8:15 am

If you want a copy of the Hutchinson book, this is likely your only shot for a while. If you only want the material, Sperber reprinted it twice -- the book in linked auction, and in one of the issues of his "A Real Miracle" series. Neither is as costly as the original book.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 8th, 2014, 12:21 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:Don't miss your chance to purchase a first edition of Erdnase and the ultra rare Hutchinson book, at the Saturday's Potter & Potter Sperber auction.


The first ed Erdnase went for $13,000 plus 23% -- right at $16,000. A new record.

(I dropped out at a level SUBSTANTIALLY below that.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Evans » February 8th, 2014, 2:08 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Brad Jeffers wrote:Don't miss your chance to purchase a first edition of Erdnase and the ultra rare Hutchinson book, at the Saturday's Potter & Potter Sperber auction.


The first ed Erdnase went for $13,000 plus 23% -- right at $16,000. A new record.

(I dropped out at a level SUBSTANTIALLY below that.)


It didn't look in quite as good condition as others I've seen for auction in the last few years. Was there anything special about this one?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 8th, 2014, 3:42 pm

I'm sure that Gabe would have noted any special issues with the book. I think it's just a situation where a couple of people wanted it badly. It is probably the most desirable/important (pick your adjective) 20th century magic book.

It looks like Potter and Potter are having a good day. The Discoverie of Witchcraft went for $25k, I think, and the other stuff I was interested in (the lots of trade cards from 250 to 261) mostly went for at least twice high estimate.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Evans » February 8th, 2014, 6:17 pm

Thanks Bill. As ever, the price depends on how badly someone wants it!. It's always interesting to watch the auctions live online. It was a beautiful first edition of Discoverie. The reprint of Hutchinson's book on Erdnase did well too (almost as well as the first ed). Burt Sperber had quite a collection.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby James Smith » February 10th, 2014, 4:46 am

It did seem a crazy price for the Erdnase but then desirability does that if you have two people who want something badly enough!

I have to disagree with the first edition Scot being a beautiful copy. It had been restored well but with many facsimile pages, including the entire section on conjuring, it was not a great copy and the price achieved ($19,200) was really quite high considering. The second edition was a much better buy.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Evans » February 10th, 2014, 4:30 pm

James Smith wrote:It did seem a crazy price for the Erdnase but then desirability does that if you have two people who want something badly enough!

I have to disagree with the first edition Scot being a beautiful copy. It had been restored well but with many facsimile pages, including the entire section on conjuring, it was not a great copy and the price achieved ($19,200) was really quite high considering. The second edition was a much better buy.


I hadn't appreciated that about the first ed of Discoverie. That was a high price in that case. The 1886 edition was a nice one too.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 16th, 2014, 1:52 pm

I found Marty's article in Montana quite insightful, informative, and just plain fun reading. I knew that there would be no smoking gun, but four items stood out to me:

1. Sanders and Erdnase spelled the 19th century card game "cassino" the same way with the double letter "s".

2. Sanders had some knowledge of self-publishing and copyright law before The Expert was published.

3. The connection between the Dalrymple and Sanders family appears to be substantiated from a Sanders family genealogist who corresponded with Demarest. This would corroborate Smith's recall that Erdnase mentioned a family relationship to Louis Dalrymple, the political cartoonist.

4. It was in the winter of 1901-02 yet Erdnase was not wearing an overcoat when he met Smith in the unheated hotel room. Since the Windsor Clifton Hotel where Sanders' parents were staying was only a few blocks away, it's not inconceivable that he would skip the coat and head quickly to the hotel room to rendezvous with Smith.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 17th, 2014, 12:47 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:I found Marty's article in Montana quite insightful, informative, and just plain fun reading.

Agreed

1. Sanders and Erdnase spelled the 19th century card game "cassino" the same way with the double letter "s".

Robert Frederick Foster has been proposed as a candidate by Peter Kane and Jerry Sadowitz. See here, where Foster also spelled the game as "cassino".

2. Sanders had some knowledge of self-publishing and copyright law before The Expert was published.

Whether or not a particular candidate had knowledge of copyright law seems to be something of a red herring, since the copyright notice in Expert is, at best, awkwardly worded. It doesn't inspire confidence that Erdnase himself had any specific knowledge of copyright law.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 17th, 2014, 1:25 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:4. It was in the winter of 1901-02 yet Erdnase was not wearing an overcoat when he met Smith in the unheated hotel room. Since the Windsor Clifton Hotel where Sanders' parents were staying was only a few blocks away, it's not inconceivable that he would skip the coat and head quickly to the hotel room to rendezvous with Smith.


Smith recalled to Martin Gardner that he'd met Erdnase at a hotel possibly at the intersection of Congress and State. The Windsor Clifton was at the NW corner of Monroe and Wabash, 1 block East and 4 blocks North of Congress and State.

This 1898 map shows the area.

Bob Coyne
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » February 19th, 2014, 6:35 pm

I just received a copy of Montana and Marty's article. I really enjoyed it -- well worth getting and reading!

As Marty mentions, it covers mostly the same ground as the Genii article, but from a different context. Plus there's new stuff also. To my thinking, the most significant piece of information is something Marty briefly mentioned on this thread a while ago -- namely that the Sanders and Dalrymple families were related. The article supplies a bit more on that, though still no details. Hopefully there will be more about that in the future.

The Montana history and context was interesting as was some of the magic background pointing to what sources and influences Sanders may have used or encountered.

There were also some new (unpublished) quotes from Sanders' diaries in the both the body of the article and the endnotes section. It would be *great* if those diaries were transcribed or scanned and available for all to see... :-)

Yes, and there was a nice teaser at the end about a forthcoming article in Genii. So seems like there's more to look forward to!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 19th, 2014, 7:00 pm

There is always more to look forward to in Genii.
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Marty Demarest
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » February 21st, 2014, 10:37 am

Leonard and Bob--thanks for your thoughts on the Montana article. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

I'm happy to answer your Dalrymple/Sanders question--but only to an extent. The genealogical material is just too vast to summarize here, and I must give credit to Ben Sanders for doing some heroic work! There will be more details to reveal later, but the initial family connection between the Dalrymples and Sanders seems to date back to at least the 18th Century. From Ben:

Sir John Dalrymple is a prominent a surname in and around the same areas occupied by Sanders and their kin and at a minimum the families new, traded, bought and sold property to and from each other and in one instance have likely produced offspring together from legitimate unions. On 18 Feb 1790, Elizabeth Dalrymple, of Stair, Cumberland, England married Sir. Myles Sandys of Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. This is significant because the likelihood of this being a direct family link to today's Sanders and Dalrymple is fairly high.


That's a pretty old connection, and it should be placed in W.E. Sanders' context. The Sanders family was remarkably well-informed about even its most distant family connections, and the Dalrymple relation dates back only 100 years before the time period in question. One of the most interesting aspects of W.E.'s journal-keeping is how detailed and informed he is about his family connections. And of course, closeness isn't something that's conveyed only by a family tree. Physical proximity to even distant relations will often make them more familiar than immediate family members. So it becomes a matter of working out HOW the families were related, and HOW W.E. might have known this. Regardless, there is a family connection.

Just a note about the Montana article: It does not reproduce the Puck illustration in which Wilbur Fisk Sanders was caricatured by Dalrymple. That's only in the Genii article. However, Montana does include a number of very good reproductions of photos of W.E. Sanders, including one not reproduced in Genii. It's a picture of W.E. on a camping trip, and the reproduced image is actually one side of a stereoscope. (So if anyone wants to visit the Montana Historical Society, it might be possible to see Erdnase in 3D!)

One thing that struck me upon looking at the photos was how nicely W.E. always dressed. Even out in the midst of a camping trip, he posed in what looks like a well-cut jacket, collar and tie with his guns fashionably displayed. It recalled M.D. Smith's first-person testimony that described Erdnase "as a good dresser (quiet)."[sic] (M.D. Smith to Martin Gardner, 7/17/1950)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 9th, 2014, 12:02 pm

So Erdnase says: "It is not our purpose to describe the various kinds of . . . prepared or mechanical cards, that play so great a part in the professional conjurer’s startling exhibitions."

What was he talking about WRT "mechanical cards"? DeLand hadn't started doing his thing yet, in 1902. Hofzinser would not have been well known in the United States at this time. "Mechanical" doesn't seem to be an apt term to describe Stripper decks (which were well known).

Acrobatic cards show up in Roterberg's "New Era Card Tricks"; perhaps this is what Erdnase is referring to?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » March 9th, 2014, 11:09 pm

I've always thought that Erdnase's "mechanical cards" were things like the cards described in the "Prepared and Mechanical Cards" chapter of Roterberg's New Era Card Tricks (1897), which include things like mechanically diminishing cards and moving pip cards. Likewise in Hoffmann's Modern Magic (1876), where he includes a mechanical torn corner card and a card that stands on edge. The Secret Out (1859) includes specially-printed cards and a hollowed-out deck.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 10th, 2014, 10:25 pm

The term "mechanical" playing card gaffs was used to describe gimmicks with moving parts, such as those cited above (moving pips, restored corner, flower appearing on a playing card--there are a lot of them). I believe the first person to use the term "mechanical" in relation to gimmicked cards that were specially printed, and had no moving parts, was Theodore DeLand.

His definition of "mechanical" was that the cards did the work for you and required no sleight of hand.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby mrmagik68 » March 27th, 2014, 11:07 pm

Wow!!! It's hard to believe that almost 11 years ago I started this thread in search of how to best tackle The Expert at The Card Table and the thread is still going strong. This is pretty awesome. I've been out of the magic scene for some time, looks like I have some catching up to do. Good to be back.


Roberto

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jason England » March 28th, 2014, 5:55 am

Am I the only person just now finding out about this?

I figured it would have been posted in this thread if anyone else knew about it, but I can't find anything.

Very sad news.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicag ... =162108796

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 28th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Sad news, and I hadn't heard. Thanks for posting.

His book was a thorough review of the "State of the Art" of Erdnase research when it came out.

I knew he had some sort of cancer soon after it was published, but hadn't heard any status since then.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » March 28th, 2014, 2:28 pm

Hurt authored the Grand Overview of the search for Erdnase.

He wrote a completely fair and accurate account of where each of the "searchers" stood at the time in their individual searches.

He gave every searcher fair and balanced exposure, and whatever his personal opinion might have been, Hurt really did know how to write such that there was no appearance of "playing favorites".
I was impressed throughout as I read the book, as such a balanced presentation was something that could have proved difficult to do on this particular subject matter.

I absolutely treasure his book.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention Jason, albeit truly sad news.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » March 28th, 2014, 9:29 pm

Jason, thank you for letting us know. I did not know that Hurt passed away. I was in loose contact with him because he was working on a book on mentalism and I helped him with source material. I knew he had cancer but he wanted to push it aside and lead a productive life despite it.

It is worth telling the story how it came to Hurt writing his exceptional book on Erdnase. In summer of 2009 I posted a somewhat cryptic request in my newsletter looking for writers for a challenging but rewarding project. I received a good amount of replies among them Hurt with whom I had no prior contact. I had several qualified candidates for my idea but something struck me with Hurt's email and I pitched my idea first to him. The idea was to write an objective book on all major Erdnase candidates. The goal was not to find Erdnase or to conclude with the most likely candidate, but rather to summarize all existing research and present and evaluate it in an objective manner. He liked the idea and dug himself into the problem matter. I really did not expect him to do it that well. He had no prior knowledge of Erdnase and the mystery about who it might be. But that was also his biggest advantage, because he could objectively approach the matter not having been exposed to the issue before and not having already acquired his favorite candidate. And I must say that Hurt really took his objectivity very serious and paid particular attention to not having any personal bias enter his writing.

He also delivered much more than I ever asked him to do. The entire linguistic analysis was his doing, the search for the hotel also completely his own work. I think he got so fascinated that he did not only write the summary as I asked him to, but that he spent a lot of time adding his own research. It is a book I am extremely proud of as publisher, even though I merely initiated the idea. Hurt delivered beyond my wildest dreams. I think it is fair to say that it is by far the most objective and scientific work on Erdnase to date.

For those looking for the link to purchase it: http://www.lybrary.com/artifice-ruse-er ... 51122.html
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 17th, 2014, 10:42 am

Alibris (aggregator for booksellers) uses this
Image
as sort of a "stock" illustration for several of their listings of EATCT.

Anyone have any idea where it comes from?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Joe Pecore » May 17th, 2014, 10:52 am

Bill, Could that be the cover of the 2010 Obscure Press edition?: http://www.amazon.com/Expert-At-Card-Ta ... 444656821/
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 17th, 2014, 11:00 am

Possibly. But Obscure Press, I think, finds public domain digitized books (like on googlebooks) and prints them out. I don't get the impression that they do much artwork or design on their own. Are they the original source for the cover design?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 17th, 2014, 5:26 pm

Just found another online edition of Expert at the Card Table:

Formatted for 8.5 x 11 paper.

Formatted for A4 paper.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » May 17th, 2014, 9:30 pm

It's by "Read Books" out of the UK, printed in 2013. It is indeed the cover, 226 pages, includes a 3 page intro discussing magic and a few of the greats in magic. This is followed by1.5 pages about Erdnase referencing potential candidates and possible reasons to remain anonymous.

Paperback, glossy cover, references Lightning Source UK and Milton Keynes UK on the last page. Print on demand I think.
Last edited by John Bodine on May 17th, 2014, 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » May 17th, 2014, 9:34 pm

And some day I'll put online the complete (as complete as I know of) list of variants. I have listed over 90 variants.

Now who has some of those 1905's to fill the gaps in my collection! ;)

John Bodine

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 17th, 2014, 11:10 pm

I'd be interested in seeing that list, John.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Sawyer » May 18th, 2014, 12:18 am

I was surprised and definitely saddened to see the discussion above about Hurt McDermott having passed away. I just saw this today for the first time. In an earlier post, I summarized my views on Hurt's book about the Erdnase authorship controversy. Overall, I like the book better than my own works on that subject.

I corresponded with Hurt quite a bit in mid-2012 regarding the hotel. He seemed very modest and unassuming.

I don't think Hurt's Erdnase book has been discussed all that much on this thread. At least, though, several people (including me) did say nice things here about his book, and Hurt replied on this thread. So, at least we (or some of us) don't have to think, "Gee, if only I had said something nice when he was living." But that is not much of a consolation.

Anyway, very sad -- a great loss to magic.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » May 18th, 2014, 1:34 am

Very sad to read that McDermott passed away. I found his book a highly informative and entertaining read on Erdnase. McDermott believed that the best candidates are M.F. Andrews and Edwin Sumner Andrews. He stated his concluding reasons in the book's epilog.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 18th, 2014, 1:49 pm

Checklisters have noted editions of Erdnase in Spanish, German, Italian, and Japanese.

Now there appears to be a version in Chinese.
Link
Link

(150 Yuan is about $24, so it isn't too expensive)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 18th, 2014, 11:14 am

A copy of the Centennial edition just went for $455 on eBay.

I wish I had bought two.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Rick Ruhl » June 27th, 2014, 12:38 am

Bill,

eBay is strange... I just won one in shrink wrap for $300....

It will stay in the shrink wrap. ;)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 29th, 2014, 1:08 am

Expert wasn't the only book illustrated by Marshall D. Smith. Ebay currently has four Jack Henderson books he illustrated. It's not often you see them as a group.

And while you are throwing money around, here's a painting of his.


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