Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Eight Kings Stack

An early description of this mnemonic stack is given by William Frederick Pinchbeck in The Expositor, 1805, pp. 95-6. Another appears in a trick titled “To Tell the Names of the Cards by the Weight” in the anonymous Parlour Magic, 1838, London: Whitehead & Co., p. 147.

Related stacks, using a phrase to aid in remembering a non-arithmetic sequence of card values, repeated four times, date back at least to the early 1500s; e.g., one in Latin recorded in Richard Hill's Commonplace Book, 1536 (discovered by Marco Pusterla; see Ye Olde Magic Mag, Vol. 2 No. 3, June 2016, p. 3). There is evidence that Hill drew this stack and the trick it makes possible from earlier manuscripts, yet to be discovered.

See also: Hungry Jackass Stack.