Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser
Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser was born on the 19th of June 1806.
He was a contemporary of Johann Nestroy and from his salon in Vienna he frequently entertained the high Society of Vienna mixing social satire with magic. Today he is remembered fondly as the father of card magic who probably pioneered the use of gimmicked cards and innovative sleights of hand in his beguiling card tricks.
Pictured Left: Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser
(Picture courtesy of Magic Christian's book on J.N Hofzinser Cardtricks)
Hofzinser was probably the first card magician to perform many of the card tricks that we know and love today including the trick commonly known as "The parting of the Ways" in which a pack of cards is randomly dealt face down into two piles by a spectator and at the end of the deal the two piles when turned face up are seen to have been split perfectly into red cards and black cards.
Many of the sleights of hand still in use today may be attributed to Hofzinser - one such slight which springs to mind is the Hofzinser bottom palm.
Hofzinser died in 1875 on the 11th of March but during his lifetime he mixed with many great artists for example the composer Hector Berlioz as well as other members of high society. He travelled extensively throughout Europe performing even before the Austrian monarchy and made sufficient impact upon the world of card magic that in recent years, card magic exponents such as Dai Vernon have spoken of the great Hofzinser with great reverence and respect.