Now, if he held the fingers doubled up without the wand in the hand, the spectators would know where the coins were; but, seeing the wand, the partial closing of the hand seems natural enough. Of course the hands are boldly thrust out, the performer saying the while, "It is pretty plain that I haven't the coins, for here are my two hands both wide open. Now sir, what have you done with them?" &c. Unblushing audacity is again the order of the day.
Edwin T. Sachs
Sleight of Hand, 1885, p. 177