Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Gypsy Switch

As the name suggests, tradition has it that this switch was received from itinerant Romany swindlers. Its first appearance in English seems to be in Hoffmann's Modern Magic, 1876, p. 164: “To Make Two Marked Coins, Wrapped in Separate Handkerchiefs, Come Together in One of Them.” Karl Fulves has run an exhaustive serial history of this move in his journal Prolix. The series starts in Prolix, No. 2, 2006, p. 112. Fulves points out that the mechanics of the Gypsy Switch are applied to a handkerchief penetration in J. E. Robert-Houdin's Les Secrets de la Prestidigitation et de la Magie, 1868. See "Magical Filtration of Five-Franc Pieces" in Prof. Hoffmann's 1878 English translation, p. 117.