Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pack of playing cards used in stage conjuring tricks

  • Object:

    Magic trick

  • Place of origin:

    Leeds (made)

  • Date:

    20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Alf Cooke Limited (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed card, with attached thread and metal weight

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

These cards were made for the popular card trick known as 'Rising cards' or 'Devano rising cards'. The trick was invented around 1936 by Dr. L. Vosburgh Lyons but popularised in 1948 by Mitch Devano, a prominent member of the Magic Circle, after whom the Society's close-up magic award is named. A sculpture of his hand holding the trick is part of the collection of the Magic Circle.

Members of the audience are asked to choose one or more cards from the pack. These are replaced but magically reveal themselves by rising up from the pack in turn. Many methods of creating this trick have been devised. In Devano's version the cards were placed in a drinking glass. The spectator could hold the glass and request a particular card to rise up, and it would obey the command.

This pack is a superior version of those popularly produced today since it features a small pin to engage the rising card rather than a piece of light adhesive.

Physical description

Pack of playing cards, modified with threads and a weight, some cards with centre removed, used in stage conjuring tricks. With card box, printed with the words 'Alf Cooke Limited (Universal Playing Card Co.) Leeds and London'.

Place of Origin

Leeds (made)


20th century (made)


Alf Cooke Limited (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Printed card, with attached thread and metal weight


Height: 9 cm playing card, Width: 6 cm playing card, Height: 1.9 cm box, Width: 6.4 cm box, Depth: 9.3 cm box

Descriptive line

Pack of playing cards, used in stage conjuring tricks


Card; Printing ink; Thread; Metal


Printing; Cutting (dividing)


Entertainment & Leisure; Magic


Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.