Magic Performances – Living vicariously through vintage magic

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Thomas Nelson Downs

Thomas Nelson Downs was one of the most famous manipulative magicians renowned for his coin tricks. Downs was also known as “The King of Koins”

Downs never took any training in magic; all his tricks were self-taught. By the age of 12, he became an expert in card and coin manipulation.

At the peak of his career, Downs traveled frequently, and performed at royal courts. While performing his tricks, he could palm up to 60 coins at a time. One of his most famous tricks was “The Miser’s Dream“, in which he seemed to pull countless coins out of the thin air.

Watch T. Nelson Downs perform original coin magic in this rare clip.

Learn more about Thomas Nelson Downs by visiting his Wikipedia entry.

2 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. KrisBelucci

    da best. Keep it going! Thank you

    Jun 02, 2009 @ 12:35 am

  2. Magi-Ken (Ken Morrison)

    This is the first time I have seen Downs in action; Very Nice! I bought one of his coin his books back in 1964 and some of his stuff was fantastic but I also tried many of his effects to no avail. Later I heard from a reliable source (Jay Marshall, if I remember correctly) that many of the things published were exagerations and could not be done as written. This includes palming of large numbers of coins which exceede the length of the distance from the plam to the very tips of the fingers and for most, longer than their entire hand. I loaned the book to a friend and forgot to mention the exagerations. While some were still physically impossible, Alan had just the right size hands (smaller than mine) to do some of what I thought were also impossible exagerations. So keep working on Downs’ difficult moves, and if you are lucky and your hands match the size of the coins in your country, you might just be able to do the impossible too.

    Sep 09, 2009 @ 8:05 pm