A tricky deck of cards for a tricky man

An optical illusion honors an enigmatic author.

In 1902, a book on sleight-of-hand with cards appeared, written by a man named S.W. Erdnase. It was called The Expert at the Card Table: The Classic Treatise on Card Manipulation, and detailed how to perform manipulations useful to both magicians and gamblers, such as false shuffling, dealing from the bottom of the deck, palming and more.

Yet Erdnase was not the author's real name. It was a pseudonym for another man, and many believe that man was W. E. Sanders, a card player and magician whose name just happens to be an anagram for S.W. Erdnase.

The Conjuring Arts Resource Center published a deck to honor Mr. Sanders / Erdnase, with an optical illusion on the back. It's an ambigram created by artist Scott Kim that reads “S.W. Erdnase” or “W.E. Sanders”, depending on which way the deck is turned.

- Erdnaseum Commemorative Playing Cards, Conjuring Arts Research Center>>
- Scott Kim>>

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