Easy Magic Tricks for Beginners - Magic Florins

Take four half sheets of note-paper from any table, and then borrow four florins; these florins you place upon a table about a foot apart, and gently lay the half sheets over each. You then take up one sheet and discover the florin underneath. Placing the paper on one side you take up the coin, and without touching, in some extraordinary way, make it pass through the next paper. You lift it, and sure enough, there lie two florins.

You then lift the third paper, to find the florin you placed there. Again, in the same mysterious manner you pass the coin through the paper. It makes no hole going through, but when the paper is lifted up there are the three of them.

Now you lift up the last piece of paper, thereby uncovering the last florin. Repeating the same process, you then request one of the audience to lift the paper, so that he or she may see that there is no deception. This being done, there lie the four florins as cosy as little fledglings in a nest.

The extreme simplicity of the trick is the most taking part of it.

And now to explain this seeming mystery.

One great golden rule of conjuring successfully is, as it were, to take your audience into partnership with you. When you borrowed the four florins of course they thought that was all you wanted. But you began the trick with one in your left hand cunningly concealed under the four sheets, all of which you hold in that hand. Then placing the four borrowed coins on the table (which, by the by, must have a thick cloth on it to deaden the sound), twelve inches apart, with the right hand you take the three top sheets. This leaves you with the fourth sheet in the left hand, the coin below being held in position by gentle pressure from fingers below, and thumb above. Then simultaneously with each hand you place a sheet of paper over two of the four coins on the table. Doing it simultaneously distracts the audience’s attention from what you are doing with your left hand; for it is at this particular moment that the trick is being performed. As you place the paper down, with a gentle and even motion of the thumb you leave the fifth coin there, too, taking great care that it does not clash with the one there already. Now you have two coins under that sheet, though the audience only know of one. There is one under each of the other three sheets. You take one of these sheets up now and take the coin between the top of the thumb and fingers of the left hand, then with the fingers and thumb of the right hand you pretend to take it, but in reality you let it fall into the palm of the left hand, a feat that must be practised carefully before a mirror. You close the fingers of the right hand over the imaginary coin in them, and act as if it were there. One way of aiding the deception is to follow the right hand with your eyes as it goes away from the left, at the same time dropping the left hand in an easy unconstrained position to the side.

Now choosing the sheet which covers the two coins (though the audience only know of one), you place the right hand a few inches above it, and open the fingers, making some mysterious passes. Of course, nothing passes in reality, but when you proceed to lift up the sheet and display the second coin, the audience will either think that they could not see it, or that you are a very mysterious person, which, indeed, you are. The remainder of the trick is only a repetition of what has been already explained; but it excites more and more astonishment as it proceeds. The bewilderment of the audience culminates in the last act, when, as before, you have pretended to take the coin in the right hand (really having left it in the left), and making the passes, request one of the audience to lift up the last sheet—there lie all the four florins.

Meanwhile, your left has dropped quietly to your side, the coin in it been slipped noiselessly into the pocket, and both hands are free to return to their astonished owners the four borrowed coins.

This trick is a particularly effective one, requiring, as it does, no paraphernalia except what are always to be met with in almost every room.

Only let the beginner recollect this. He must never begin the trick without the fifth coin, or he will come to grief. Nor must he accede to requests to “do it again,” or he will be detected.

Excerpt from the book: Three Hundred Things A Bright Boy Can Do
BY MANY HANDS - FULLY ILLUSTRATED
LONDON - SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & CO., LTD. 1914
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