When I heard art book publisher Taschen were joining with Mike Caveney, Ricky Jay and Jim Steinmeyer to produce a book on the history of magic I expected something pretty spectacular.

The result, Magic, 1400s-1950s, is indeed spectacular and should be on the shelf of anyone interested in magic. It is a luxurious celebration of the dazzling visual culture of magic. In 670 beautifully-printed pages it features over a thousand rare posters, photographs, engravings and handbills. It is sure to become a collector’s item.

Through sensational images and insightful text, this wonderful book traces the history of our craft from 1470 through to the post-WWII years, from early street workers through the ‘Golden Age’ of the 19th century to feted performers like Houdini and the vaudevillians of the early 20th century.

You can take a ‘virtual tour’ of the book here:

Look inside Magic.

It’s not cheap, though good value, at £135. Or go here to get your copy for less than £80, post free!