Magician Clichés

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Mar 2, 2016
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Does anyone actually know which people popularised the different clichés of a magician?
Things like the black wand with white tips, the rabbit in a hat, 'abrakadabra' and so on?
 

Gabriel Z.

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As far as image is concerned I know that Cardini is the one that stands out the most for me at least. He wore a top-hat and a monocle . He is probably the closest you are going to get as far as cliche for magician. Hope this helps.

Cardini.jpg
 
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WitchDocIsIn

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Robert Houdin, as far as I understand, is responsible for the tux and top hat image. Before him magicians wore robes and turbans.

Houdin was attempting to make magic more relevant to his audiences. At the time, an evening at the theater called for one to dress nicely. A lady would wear a nice dress, a man would wear a suit or tux. So Houdin wore a tux to appear classy.

The wand has been around for ages. I assume the black wand with white tips comes from matching the tux look, and having it look the same on both sides allows it to be manipulated in a variety of ways.

Abracadabra is ancient. Possibly derived from the god Abraxas, possibly Hebrew, maybe Aramaic, and it means something along the lines of "I create as I speak". It was used as an incantation to ward off malaria in Roman times. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abracadabra
 
Mar 2, 2016
241
141
Robert Houdin, as far as I understand, is responsible for the tux and top hat image. Before him magicians wore robes and turbans.

Houdin was attempting to make magic more relevant to his audiences. At the time, an evening at the theater called for one to dress nicely. A lady would wear a nice dress, a man would wear a suit or tux. So Houdin wore a tux to appear classy.

The wand has been around for ages. I assume the black wand with white tips comes from matching the tux look, and having it look the same on both sides allows it to be manipulated in a variety of ways.

Abracadabra is ancient. Possibly derived from the god Abraxas, possibly Hebrew, maybe Aramaic, and it means something along the lines of "I create as I speak". It was used as an incantation to ward off malaria in Roman times. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abracadabra

Very interesting. Thanks for feeding my curiosity!
 
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Josh Burch

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Aug 11, 2011
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Does anyone actually know which people popularised the different clichés of a magician?
Things like the black wand with white tips, the rabbit in a hat, 'abrakadabra' and so on?

The top hat and tails was adorned by John Henry Anderson "The Wizard of the North" in 1843. Robert Houdin Wasn't born until 1845. They were contemporaries though. John was one of the first to bring magic to a reputable theater. His act consisted of many of the certifiable classics including the cups and balls, linking rings and he was even one of the first to pull a rabbit from a hat. Towards the end of his career he performed some of Houdin's material including his famous suspension. Because of they were contemporaries and pioneers in their contributions are mixed up at times.

As far as the goatee and curled mustache comes from it started from a general association with the devil but was popularized most famously by Herrmann. Dante and others took the look as well.

The wand is thought to have evolved from a cane with a silver tip. It has become smaller and handheld for our purposes as magicians.
 
Mar 2, 2016
241
141
The top hat and tails was adorned by John Henry Anderson "The Wizard of the North" in 1843. Robert Houdin Wasn't born until 1845. They were contemporaries though. John was one of the first to bring magic to a reputable theater. His act consisted of many of the certifiable classics including the cups and balls, linking rings and he was even one of the first to pull a rabbit from a hat. Towards the end of his career he performed some of Houdin's material including his famous suspension. Because of they were contemporaries and pioneers in their contributions are mixed up at times.

As far as the goatee and curled mustache comes from it started from a general association with the devil but was popularized most famously by Herrmann. Dante and others took the look as well.

The wand is thought to have evolved from a cane with a silver tip. It has become smaller and handheld for our purposes as magicians.

Thanks!
 
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