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Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser (June 19, 1806 March 11, 1875) was a minor employee at the

financial department of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. Although he never held a doctorate, and
there is no such title in his working descriptions, he used the moniker "Dr. Hofzinser" as a stage
name after retiring in 1865.[citation needed] As a magician he was best known for his clever conjuring
inventions and refined sleight of hand skills.
Hofzinser is called the Father of Card-Magic by the most prominent representatives of modern cardartistry; magician Dai Vernon often mentioned Hofzinser in his books.[citation needed] In his day, Hofzinser's
talents were famous throughout Europe. From 1857 on, under the name of his wife Wilhemine,
Hofzinser presented illusions in their apartment (Salon) for an elite audience of invited guests three
or four times a week. They called these gatherings Eine Stunde der Tuschung or "An Hour of
Deception" and charged a relatively high price for admission. [citation needed] 1865 he went on tour with his
show and was seen in Berlin, Munich and in most of the bigger cities in the Austrian Monarchy.
Hofzinser is famous for his minimalistic approach to performing his illusions. Rather than presenting
large-scale effects to impress his audience, Hofzinser focused on a simple setting using
small props to demonstrate his skills. Playing cards were one of Hofzinser's specialties and he was
one of the earliest performers to demonstrate card tricks. He invented many card manipulations,
some of which continue to be used by magicians today.
FISCHER spread the story that upon his death in 1875, Hofzinser's wife destroyed many of
his manuscripts to honor her husband's instructions though there is some dispute about this. [citation
needed]

Even so, many of his mechanical plans and card-handling methods may forever remain a

secret. Several of Hofzinser's pupils preserved portions of their teacher's notes and instructions.
There are still about 270 manuscripts and letters of his own and of his pupils in various collections.
[citation needed]

What was known about Hofzinser was mostly based on the work of Ottokar Fischer (1873-1940)
who published his findings in his books, Kartenknste (1910) and Zauberknste(1942) though many
of Fischer's findings turned out to be incorrect. In recent years, Austrian magician Magic
Christian has discovered many new facts about the life and magic of Hofzinser, publishing them in
his books Non Plus Ultra, originally available only in German.[1] Magic Christian is currently working
on the third volume about Hofzinser's Salon Magic which will be edited at the end of 2007 by Edition
Huber/ Offenbach. It is rumoured to include a section on illusions created in collaboration with Oliver
Van Hoogstratenduring the short but intensely productive time they spent in Vienna in the 1850s
(uncited). There is no evidence of this added fact.

Johann Hofzinser should not be confused with Swedish magician Max Hofzinser (n Josef Levin in
1885). Max adopted the surname "Hofzinser" after seeing it in a magic catalog [citation needed] and spent
most of his career riding the fame of his namesake.[neutrality is disputed] Max Hofzinser died in 1955.
He is portrayed by Philip McGough, in the 2006 movie The Illusionist, starring Edward
Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti.