Conjuring Credits

The Origins of Wonder

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Ramsay Subtlety

This concealment, most frequently for a coin, has been attributed to John Ramsay (1877-1962), although Ramsay never claimed the idea as original to him. The nature of this concealment is such that the likelihood of its discovery far earlier than Ramsay is highly probable. As proof, Stephen Minch spotted a description of this concealment in a coin vanish that appears in the November 1914 issue of The Magic Wand, Vol. 5 No. 3, p. 36. The author of the article, C. H. Shortt, attributes the vanish to Henri Herrmann, from whom he learned it thirty-seven years earlier. This vanish includes a final display of both hands apparently empty, in which the concealment now known as the Ramsay Subtlety is used. Shortt states that he based his description on notes he took at the time he learned the sleight from Herrmann, which suggests his dating is reliable. This would make the time 1877, the year John Ramsay was born.

Also see: Rear Thumb Palm.