Hofzinser Card Q&A By Jeremy Hanrahan

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jeremy Hanrahan, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. #1 Jeremy Hanrahan, Nov 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2011
    Hello guys, I'm the nice Canadian (thanks Zach) that collaborated with theory11 in the launch of the Hofzinser Card Gaffs. To that end, I wanted to step in and share some thoughts and ideas on the cards, how they're made, and what makes them so cool and so special. The Hofzinser card has been around for a long long time - dating back to the late 1800's. Based on our research, the date appears to be around 1844 when Johann Hofzinser first utilized the gimmick.

    It is commonly referred to as the see through card but ironically enough, it's not. If it was see through, then the image on the back of the card would be a reverse image of the face, and of course match the face's value. This is intentionally not the case. I personally use this card in two effects. The first, to reveal two spectators "freely" chosen cards, and the second effect as a prediction gone wrong type of effect. Once you get a set of these cards into your hands, you will start to come up with some really sick effects. It has incredible applications - from a full effect to a subtle convincer (allow your spectator to "see through" the card themselves, without mentioning it directly).

    The cards usually are 3 layers glued together to assemble one card. The cards made this way are okay, but do not have the snap and durability of the cards we present here at theory11. I use a different process, splitting the card stock, removing the face layer of two cards, and the back layer of one card. I then press the stock for 24 hours. Once the stock is pressed, I sand the inside rough side of the card to make it smooth. I then put dry mount on the card and run it through a specific laminator machine that took me forever to find as they no longer make the one that works the best.

    Once the dry mount is applied, I use a straight edge to trim the excess, use a custom made corner rounder to round the card and then assemble them. It's that easy! ;) It took me about a year to perfect making this gaff, and other gaffs that are commonly used in our trade. A lot of trial and error went into finding the right grade of materials and temperatures to assemble the perfect Hofzinser (IMHO).

    Traditionally, the gaffs have sold for $15 a piece - each! But we're offering them here for the first time, in super slick packaging, for $19.95 for THREE. It's an amazing deal, and I encourage all of you guys to grab a set, experiment with it, and create applications of your own. Please post any questions you have here, and I will answer them as soon as I am able.
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  2. So when held up to the light, we see one card, but when it's turned over, we see a different one, correct? So do you show the audience that you can see through the card? I'm confused on how you would present something like this.
  3. #3 Jeremy Hanrahan, Nov 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2011
    I start off by forcing a duplicate card, the four of clubs and have it returned to the top of the deck. The Hofzinser card is on the bottom. Once the card is returned to the top of the deck, I execute some false shuffles. I tell the spectator I will find their card in the most unusual way. I perform the hotshot cut and say I captured their card as it flies out of the deck, and into my awaiting hand. I then turn it over and the 10 of hearts is seen. They tell me that the 10 of diamonds was not the card they selected. I tell them I know, and remind them that I said I was gonna capture their card. I then hold the card back up to the light and the 4 of clubs is seen, telling them their card is now captured...... inside another card.

    This is just a basic use of the card, Hope this helps Jacob L
  4. oooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooh. That makes sense, I was a little confused on how one would present this, but that's a nice effect. Was I correct in reading we get only three cards? What style are they, just standard bikes?
  5. To be honest we are getting emails saying "wow, we get three cards for only $19.95" not "we only get 3 cards" lol. Remember that when you can find these cards that are well made, they usually sell for $16.00 to $24.00 per card.
  6. So say the front of the card is the 2 of Clubs, what would I see looking through the back?
  7. I have a question as to what the third card is. Two of clubs, 5 of spades, and . . . ?
    This isn't going to influence my decision at all as I already decided I'm going to buy them. However, I'm just curious.
  8. Can you make a complete deck of it?
  9. My original idea when I saw these was to do a classic Hofzinser trick, Everywhere and Nowhere, with the Hofzinser Cards. Could this be done? Would it be practical?

    I like that idea, but it'd be one expensive deck! If you got lucky you'd only have to buy 18 packets of cards, but who's to say that you'd get the correct 52 different cards in those 18 packets? Of course I'm not the expert here, but I'm guessing that you could make a complete deck.
  10. The face of the card is a red value, the "value as seen through the back" is black. The red card back hides the front value when held up to the light.
  11. DannyT, the values are different.
  12. I have made over 600 Hof cards to date, so yes I can. I have made a special gaffed deck for a friend of mine for a specific effect he had in mind. From what he tells me it slays!!!!!
  13. Veeery nifty stuff! I'm going to brainstorm ideas for these, and if I get some good ones I'll get some, but I don't want to get them just to get them, and then never use them. Sorry for my misconception on "only three cards." When I first saw the ad I thought it was a whole deck, so when I saw "three cards" I was like "oh..." haha.
  14. Jacob,
    They are very cool gaffed cards that are a pain in the rear to try and make yourself correctly...ha ha. We had guys in our club try and they were "so so" at best. For 3 of them that price is a steal. I'm like you though. I have to know ahead of time some great effects that I will use them in before I just make a purchase.

    Anyone know of a DVD / book of effects utilizing the gaff?
  15. I noticed that the number is written the wrong direction. Is there a reason for that? If you look at a card from the back side it should be backwards right?
  16. The best source for everything regarding Hofzinser is Magic Christian from Vienna, probably the world-leading Hofzinser expert.
    His book, "Non Plus Ultra 2, die Kartenkunst des Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser" is the most complete work of his card magic to date AFAIK. Unfortunately only available in German.

    The other one is Ottokar Fischer`s "Hofzinser's Card Conjuring"
    -> Experiments with the application of Transparent Cards
    163. The Ace of Hearts
  17. Thank you Chris...much appreciated.
  18. Please read the first post in this thread.
  19. I have to say that i applaud that you even took on such a task. From what i see you can pretty much mess around with your own set of gaff cards which was one of my dreams years ago when i started card splitting. Although my path lead to another way and i no longer require gaffs. Although i'm really anxious to get a set for Christmas as a perk for myself. Knowing that these are actually hand made makes them a collectors edition in my mind and having a set of these behind glass and when i'm feeling fit then ill pop them out and have a go at them.

    I've always admired things done by hand and to say the least reading your description is nothing short but inspiring.
  20. what is the mount you use?

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