Regency Antique Books

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Past Auction Highlight

Each month, we’ll be featuring an interesting antique item which appeared in one of our past auctions. This item has been sold.

“Containing the most interesting and instructive experiments in various branches of science to which is added all the popular tricks and changes in cards and the art of making fireworks.” That’s a mouthful, but it’s absolutely true of this wonderful volume for Victorian boys.

An early and extremely scarce first edition hardback, “The Young Man’s Book of Amusement” spotlights various branches of magic intended for the amusement of 19th century boys and young men. Published by William Milner, Cheapside in 1846, the how-to book teaches kids how to perform these sorts of tricks:

  • To produce beautiful fireworks in miniature
  • Fulminating bombs
  • The exploding bubble
  • The magic picture
  • Optical illusions
  • Light produced by sugar
  • Magical transmutations
  • To make a bird seem dead
  • A powder that catches fire when exposed to air
  • The magical mirrors
  • Experiments in magnetism
  • The bottle conjuror
  • The metamorphosed cards (a very early card change)
  • To produce a mouse from a deck of cards
  • Card in egg
  • Torn and restored handkerchief
  • Plus many more tricks and illusions!

“Amusement” also features some very early text on card tricks and ventriloquism, along with illustrations and diagrams.

We buy and sell vintage and antique magic related books, click here to see what we specialize in.