No one knows who S.W. Erdnase really was.
He is known well to us magicians as the author of the seminal book on sleight of hand with cards, “Expert at the Card Table.” His work on sleight of hand has been studied by virtually every master of card magic, including Dai Vernon and Ed Marlo. But that’s all we know — well, and that he needed money enough to publish his works.
Some of you caught the Erdnase quote before it was identified in the Purple Artifice trailer, featuring Shade and his incredible handling. Erdnase’s methods, and his philosophies about card handling, are a foundation of today’s close-up magic. Many of the techniques, strategies and philosophies that we put into practice when we perform, he wrote about in 1902. Though his writing style is dated (as is his patter), his methods are timeless. His attitude of learning the art of sleight of hand matches spot on with our own.
“Expert at the Card Table” is inspirational. Erdnase is behind the creation of the Artifice deck. So while you wait for the Purple Artifice, read some of our favorite quotes from the man behind it. And tell us YOUR favorite quotes.