Well, on the British Pathe website there is footage of Newman Mond doing a similar trick. He shuffles a deck of cards before placing it in the middle of the billiard table. Then he shoots a cue ball across the table so that it strikes the deck. The impact separates the deck in to four piles, each with an ace at the face. It’s an impressive looking trick.
One notable aspect is the shuffling of the deck. It makes me think that perhaps Newman Mond wasn’t using the old salt method. He might have used slick cards, Will de Sieve gimmicks or, as Racherbaumer suggests, breather crimps to ensure that the packets separate. Any pool players out there might want to try a few experiments.
Using Ask Alexander at the Conjuring Arts Research Center I discovered that Newman Mond was the pseudonym of A N Redmond, described in The World’s Fair as ‘the originator of magic on the billiards table.’ In 1937 he was secretary of The Bolton Magic Circle in