Nikola, Louis: Magical Masterpieces
©1934 (circa) Will Goldston, Ltd, London
Hardcover, 251 Pages
Image courtesy e-Bay seller Magicu4

Comments (Magicu4): Magical Masterpieces is no mere fanciful title. It is an apt description of a selection from the accumulated repertoire of a practical magician whose outstanding characteristic is the painstaking perfection and stamp of individuality of all his productions. It is safe to say that if a new book of magic provides only one workable and suitable addition to the reader's store it is a sound investment. The magician who cannot find many more than one acceptable item herein must indeed be hard to please. A wealth of valuable material is offered. This is not a book for idle reading alone, although even as such it is an entertainment in itself. It is a book for reading and reading again and oft repeated reference. It is a store-house of ideas to be placed in the magician's library and taken out from time to time for reference. Today he may find something for immediate addition to his programme. A year hence, two years hence, many years hence, he may still find something new. If he reads between the lines, he will not only absorb new ideas, he will learn something of the writer's secret of developing ideas and acquire habits of thought that will enable him to do likewise. Unhampered by confinement to a single type, the keynote of the volume is variety, and its contents range from subtle sleight-of-hand tricks without visible appliances to elaborate mechanical devices of extreme intricacy and some entirely new suggestions in the way of self-contained illusions.

Contents (numbers are not page numbers):

i Introduction
1 The Disappearing Cloak: cloak vanishes as performer enters the stage
2 A Disappearing Walking Stick: like the vanishing wand
3 Fire and Water: bowl of fire production
4 Catching a Card on a Knife Point: and how to make the knife
5 A Treacle Trick: using a syrup for cards on a bat
6 Card Cricket: cards on a cricket bat
7 Magic Photography: three approaches to the printing of a thought of (looked at) card
8 A Transforming Card Table: building a table for card tricks
9 Dyeing Silks: silks change color one at a time and transform into a flag
10 "Bunglo": three silks blend into a flag
11 Dyeing Silks Ne Plus Ultra: another approach to the Blendo effect
12 The Great Lemon: coin in lemon with a story of buying magic based only on descriptions
13 A Ring and An Orange: borrowed ring in orange on ribbon
14 A Ring and A Dove: borrowed ring appears on a Dove
15 With A Watch: performer's watch vanishes and appears in a nest of envelopes
16 The Nest of Boxes: a borrowed watch vanishes and is found on a rabbit
17 A New Method in the Smoke Trick: a chemical trick that avoids hydrochloric acid
18 The Incorrigible Cigars:  cigars and objects transpose between cigar box and a bottle
19 A Super Rice Bowls Trick: several methods described
20 The Truth? About the Indian Rope Trick: an anecdote
21 Transit of Wine: using a double-walled jug
22 The Recipe for Diamonds: a diamond production from water
23 Off With His Head: ropes through the neck
24 An Extemporised Drum Production: production of items from a drum
25 Another Drum Load: another approach
26 Optical Delusion: wooden blocks change position when covered with a shell
27 The Power of Suggestion: similar to above, blocks spell different words
28 A Message From Mars: a twist on the old Slate trick
29 Marvellous Addition: addition and slate trick
30 A Magic Spell: a comedy alphabet card apparatus effect
31 Reading By Touch: card index for alphabet cards
32 Patriotic Drill: billiard balls transpose in three bins
33 Flying Colours: similar to above, but with silks
34 On The Line (or the Congress of Ypres): variation of Sympathetic Silks
35 Transposing Milk and Sugar: a stage effect
36 The Topsy Turvy Tea Table: another version with more complex apparatus
37 Under The Pillar Box: a Kewpie doll production
38 Tricky Tennis: a tennis ball and racket stage effect
39 Aerial Angling: catching fish in the air
40 Hoffmann's Bullet Trick: a bullet trick for the parlor
41 The Feast of Lanterns: stage appears full of lanterns
42 The Junior Feast of Lanterns: miniature version of above
43 The Housing Problem: picture of a house transforms to a full model house
44 The Rajah's Pearls: instant re-stringing of pearls
45 Aqua Vitae: instant blossoms from a bowl
46 Squeezed To A Jelly, or Good Enough to Eat: Assistant is compressed to a jelly (stage illusion)
47 What Happened To Smith Minor, or the Sad Fate of a Naughty Boy who Wouldn't Wash Behind His Ears: a stage vanish