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This beautiful paperback book, with French flaps, six plates and many illustrations, is the second in a series of books reproducing the writings of J. N. Maskelyne. Each book in the series will be strictly limited to 500 copies.


First published in 1894, Sharps and Flats was one of the earliest and most thorough books explaining the trickery of crooked gamblers. At the time of its release John Nevil Maskelyne was at the height of his fame, drawing large crowds to his magic performances at The Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly.

Alongside his career as an illusionist, Maskelyne was well known for debunking cheats and frauds, as he had done in his 1876 classic Modern Spiritualism. While continuing his campaign against fraudulent mediums, he turned his attention to the growing problem of card sharps and other crooked gamblers.

With illustrations and clear descriptions, this book explains methods from marked cards to hold-outs, weighted dice to secret reflectors. No stone was left unturned in Maskelyne’s campaign against gambling cheats and, as such, the book became a great success and is still seen as an important reference.


This is a full facsimile reprint of the original second edition, which included an extra preface from Maskelyne. It is produced to the same page size, including the original six plates.


What the critics said:

“A book to study is Sharps and Flats by Mr. John Nevil Maskelyne, known to all lovers of explained mysteries. It is a wonderful exposé of the industry of cheating in every form – from thimblerig to whist. The author has spent the best part of his life battling with superstition, credulity and trickery in every form. He gives us the valuable results – a warning and an exposure. The manufacture and appliances for cheating are chiefly carried out in the United States, a standing disgrace to that great country. The book is full of wonders, it is excellent reading, and is indeed a valuable guard and guide for those who frequent the race-courses, clubs and who travel for pleasure.” – Cheltenham Examiner, 4th of April, 1894.


Condition: New.


Binding: Paperback with French flaps.

Year: 2023


Pages: 335

Dimensions (to nearest cm): 19 X 13cm

Sharps and Flats - John Nevil Maskelyne

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