I bought a book at the Printer's Book Fair earlier this year solely for the book plate firmly glued to the front endpaper. It announces that the book comes from the library of George Johnstone, an American magician who died in 2004.
Apart from some amusing anecdotes from fellow magicians on several on-line magician forums I could only discover that Johnstone was an avid book collector, appeared on Ed Sullivan, was the opening act for the 1956 Elvis tour, and he started out as an assistant for Blackstone back in the 1930s.
Click on the image to enlarge and you will be able to read all of the book titles. Each one is a real book considered a classic in the magic world. I assume that the GJ on the right hand side above the bookend are George Johnstone's initials and that he himself designed the bookplate.
Jay Marshall who died in 2005. I knew Jay for exactly one year and visited his house once when I was a puppeteer with a company called Hystopolis Productions back in the late 1990s. He was approaching his seventies at the time, but was still a good spirited, very funny man with a devilish sense of humor. He still did a few tricks at summer parties and enjoyed doing his very adult puppet show for friends only. I only wish I got to know him better than the few hours I spent in his backyard for that one summer party.
It was sheer luck that I found the book pictured below at the book fair this year. The dealer was the one who told me she thinks it came from Marshall. The finest and rarest objects, posters and books from his staggering collection were auctioned off over a three year period between 2007 and 2009 in Illinois and Kentucky at three magic collector annual conventions and a private auction house. You can still view the "Part 3" auction catalog here. (Remember the auction ended over two years ago. Don't get too excited looking.) It's stunningly impressive, if you are a magic geek like me, filled with rare posters, rarer autographs, vintage magic tricks, and very scarce magic books.