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Magic trick - 'Grandmother's beads'

'Grandmother's beads'

  • Object:

    Magic trick

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, made)

  • Date:

    20th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (makers)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood and string

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Palfreyman

  • Museum number:

    S.184-1987

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

'Grandmother's beads', used in stage conjuring tricks.

'Grandmother's beads' was one of the tricks described by Reginald Scot in his book The Discoverie of Witchcraft, published in 1584. Scot, a justice of the peace, intended to expose tricksters who claimed to practise magic, and in so doing wrote a book now regarded as the first work on conjuring. A number of versions of the bead trick exist. In the one most commonly performed, the beads, which are threaded together, are magically removed from the string while its ends are held by a spectator.

Physical description

Three wooden beads, oval, threaded together on a string.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, made)

Date

20th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown (makers)

Materials and Techniques

Wood and string

Dimensions

Length: 3.5 cm bead approx., Length: 45 cm string approx.

Descriptive line

'Grandmother's beads', used in stage conjuring tricks

Materials

Wood; String (fiber product)

Techniques

Woodworking

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Magic

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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