Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Rear Angle Palm

This palm, for a single card or more, grips the outer corners of the cards between the inner or middle joint of the thumb and the hypothenar, with the inner end of the cards aligned with the wrist. Ed Marlo describes the grip in The Tabled Palm, 1957, p. 6 and again in Card Switches, 1961, p. 2. Other early applications appearing at the same time are “Cardini's Card Production” in Dai Vernon’s More Inner Secrets of Card Magic, by Lewis Ganson, 1961, p. 36; and “The 90 Per Cent Perfect Change” in Cliff Green’s Professional Card Magic, 1961, p. 35.

The technique seems most likely to have been used by card cheats before magicians adopted it. A palm was mentioned in the eleventh letter of L'Antidote ou le contrepoison des chevaliers d'industrie, 1768, p. 111 of the Pieper translation (Dr. Lori Pieper's English translation of this anonymously written book was published in Gibecière, Vol. 7 No. 2, Summer 2012, p. 60-178) that could be a rear angle palm in action at the gaming table. The Pieper translation doesn't provide exacting details of the palmed cards' position, but in private correspondence with Stephen Minch, Gianfranco Preverino has suggested that a careful reading of the text in its original French reveals further evidence that the rear angle palm is perhaps the most likely acquitment being described. Preverino translated the text to Italian, and published it along with his commentary, as L'Antidoto, 2013.