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Magic Wand from Spiritualist Movement, circa 1870s
Near the end of the 19th century, Spiritualism and the occult became popular fascinations with the Victorians. Even Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert were known to have met with a medium in the 1860s, if not earlier. Spiritualism was based on the belief that one could communicate with the dearly departed with the help of a medium, who might engage in a seance or perform an act of automatic writing. The Ouiji board was introduced in 1890 and you can still buy one in any toy store so we are all, perhaps, still just a little fascinated with what may be just beneath the surface. Along with spiritualism, there was a rise in the popularity of witchcraft in its many forms. Also enjoying the popularity of the Victorian obsession with the occult was the stage magician, who performed "magic tricks" for enchanted audiences. This hand-carved, one-of-a-kind magic wand dates from approximately 1870 give or take a decade. It may have been a stage magician's instrument or it may have belonged to a person who engaged in the magickal arts. The wand is composed of an 11 ¾ length of hand carved wood with a rich, oak-like grain. But look closer. And you will see that the grain has been astonishingly hand-painted, stippled and slightly gold-leafed to create the effect of deep wood grain. The craftsmanship is Rolls Royce-fine. There is a hand of hand-tooled silver near the handle. And the handle is capped with silver, embossed with a crescent moon and a star. The "business end" of the wand features a natural round cabochon citrine quartz bezel-set into silver, which itself has been recessed into the wooden wand. It may not be a jewel, but this is a jewel. And it's quite rare. There is so little to collect from the spiritualist/occult movement of the mid-to-late 19th century. And this is the only wand I've ever encountered. It is a gorgeous work of art. And for the collector of the unique, the rare or the magickal, it's the keystone that's currently missing.
- In the Style Of
- Place of OriginUnknown
- Date of Manufacturecirca 1870s
- Condition DetailsExcellent condition with no damage or signs of repair.
- DimensionsD 11.75 in.D 298.45 mm
- Length11.75 in. (298.45 mm)
- Weight15.86 g
- Seller LocationSouthbury, CT
- Reference NumberLU158918898182
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About the Seller
5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2019
Typical response time: 1 hour
Located in Southbury, CT
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