Issued in 1908. Discontinued in 1917. Very rare. Blue singles
show up from time to time, but red singles and decks of either color are seldom seen.
The single below is what is usually referred to as a
throw-out card, a card literally thrown out by a magician into the audience as a souvenir. This one may
have been used in a more specific routine in which the card was revealed and the participant was somehow "stung."
For more information on throw-out cards, please visit
A red Cyclist No. 2 deck sold on eBay for $384 on May 3, 2017.
The deck included the joker and its original box, although the deck itself had some damaged cards.
See the last image, below, for a picture of the tuck case. All things considered, $384 was a fair price for such
a rare deck accompanied by its joker and original box. What was most interesting about the auction is that there
were only three bids: $25, $379 and the winning bid of $384. Had there not been a third bid, the deck would have
sold to the underbidder for $26. This illustrates the delicate relationship between auction hammer prices, rarity
and the intrinsic value of the cards. The sale price is not always an accurate indicator of rarity, and value
remains a constant only in relation to the active interest within the collecting community.
Now, for some interesting information on the "Stung"
card pictured below from Tom Ewing.
The Presto Publishing and Novelty Company of New York, the
printer of the "Stung" card, was operated by a gentleman named Charles J. Hagen. He was very
well known in magic circles and among other things, published a magic magazine out of Philadelphia called
The Magic World. He was also the founder of the National Conjurors' Association (NCA), an early rival
to the Society of American Magicians.
The "Stung" card was most likely used in a three card
monte effect where there are three playing cards. The center card has a corner of a different card taped on to
its surface. The stung card is placed underneath this corner and then the two other cards placed one on each
side. The effect would be to show three cards, say two red on each side and a black card in the center. The
performer might ask, "Which is different than the others?" The spectator would, of course, choose the
center black card. The three cards would be turned face down, the center card pulled out and laid face down on
the table, and then the remaining two red cards shown but with the black corner covered. Upon turning over the
face down center card and the performer asking again, "Which is different?", the stung card would come
This is a guess, of course. However, the principle of having a
playing card with "stung" on it is very well known. Usually, it's "stung and stung again."
In this effect, again three cards are shown and covered with a silk handkerchief. The magician reaches under
the silk and removes one of the red cards and discards it. He then reaches under and removes the second red card
and lays it aside. Finally he asks, "Which card is left?" and then when the person says "The
black card," he openly turns the card and silk completely around. The silk is removed and the word
"stung" is on the card. The person obviously says, "You turned the card around, show me the
back." Turning the card over it says "Stung again." The effect is mostly offered with giant cards
for platform or stage work. The routine has been around for many, many decades.