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The trick of controlling a selection to the bottom of the deck, having someone hold the deck firmly at one end, then knocking the cards from his grasp, leaving him holding only the selection, appears in Edmé-Gilles Guyot's Nouvelles Recreations Physiques et Mathematiques, 1740, p. 42 of the Hugard translation.
It was a favorite trick for authors of the time. It also appeared in Breslaw's Last Legacy, 1784, p. 92. A year later it was included in Henri Decremps's Testament de Jérôme Sharpe, 1785, p. 162 of the Hugard translation.
This revelation is also described in R.P.'s Ein Spiel Karten, 1853, p. 51 of the Pieper translation, under the title of “The Stubborn Card.”