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Magic trick - Magician's banknote

Magician's banknote

  • Object:

    Magic trick

  • Place of origin:

    USA (made)

  • Date:

    mid 20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (printers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Palfreyman

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Magician's banknote, used in stage conjuring tricks by the illusionist George Johnstone.

A popular stage conjuring trick involves the production of objects from empty containers, hats, or, apparently, out of thin air. Banknotes are a favour item for production, and many magicians use their own novelty money, printed with photographs and jokes.

American George Johnstone (1919-2004) was famous for his comedy magic act. The banknote lists some of his engagements, including the Ed Sullivan Show, on which he first appeared in 1950, and an Elvis Presley tour which took place in 1956.

Physical description

Novelty banknote used in stage conjuring tricks, printed in black and white. On one side a photograph of the illusionist George Johnstone, with goatee beard and moustache added, centre, with drawings of playing cards down the left and right sides, little devils at lower edge and to top left and right, and jokes and a list of engagements printed in various typefaces; on the reverse a portrait of George Washington with glasses and buck teeth added, and jokes, again printed in various typefaces.

Place of Origin

USA (made)


mid 20th century (made)


Unknown (printers)

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper


height: 13.8 cm, width: 27.5 cm

Descriptive line

Magician's banknote, used in stage conjuring tricks by the illusionist George Johnstone


Paper; Printing ink




Entertainment & Leisure; Magic


Theatre and Performance Collection

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