Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Card in Box

Finding a selected card folded up in a box, made possible through the use of a duplicate card, dates back at least to the eighteenth century. It appeared in the anonymous Asti Manuscript, c. 1700, p. 86 of the Pieper translation. This manuscript was translated into English in Gibecière, Vol. 8 No. 1, Winter 2013, p. 29-234.

Concerning the details of the history of the “Hennig-Kaps” Card in Box trick (which features a signed selection), the following was posted in mid-December, 2002, on the Genii Forum web site: “My name is Martin J. C. Klein-Hennig and I am a conjuror from Oldenburg, Germany. As Bruno Hennig's grandson I'm also responsible for the administration of his internet site and his mail account. On December 2nd, we received a mail from Craig Matsouka, who told us about a discussion about the origin of the “Card in Box” method. I translated this mail for Bruno and here is his “authorized” answer:

“1958 Kalanag performed his show in the 'Kaiserhof' in Cologne. We conjurors from the local circle in Cologne invited him to have a breakfast. Mr. Ackermann, who acted as a Chinese in his show and Fred Kaps were with us, along with Henk Vermeyden and Jean Marc, who worked in the 'Apollo' in Duesseldorf that time.

“It was rumored that Fred Kaps and Henk Vermeyden planned to take over Kalanag's show, since Kalanag was going to perform for TV shows.

“During this breakfast I showed Fred Kaps the 'Faltkarte in der Schachtel' or 'Card to Box'. He liked it and asked me for my permission to perform this trick. At that time I was called 'Bruno Hennig' and did not have my stage name 'Joro'.

“During a later meeting Fred Kaps told me, that Scotty York gave him the tip to attach the card to a thread, so that it can be moved.”


A similar method to Hennig's was devised by Paul N. Rylander to switch a prediction rather than a playing card. It appeared in The Sphinx Vol. 49 No. 6, Aug. 1950, p. 125. Rylander placed a folded piece of paper into an opaque cup. For the climax of the effect, the right hand held the correct prediction in finger palm, ready to be switched in. The left hand picked up the cup and apparently dumped its prediction into the right hand. In reality, the cup wasn't tilted enough for the paper to actually fall out, allowing the right hand to push its paper into view as though it came from the cup. This is the same concept as Hennig's card switch, albeit with a shallow tilt instead of glue.