John Henry Anderson’s Silverware

19 January 2022

Sir Walter Scott is credited with calling John Henry Anderson ‘The Wizard of the North’ although given that Scott died when Anderson was aged 18 this seems unlikely. However, Anderson (1814-1874) was not just one of the founding fathers of modern stage magic but also a brilliant self-publicist. He produced wonderful playbills and exaggerated stories about his exploits as a magician. He is credited as one of the magicians who popularised the trick of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, once the iconic image of a magician.  During his roller coaster ride of a career, he performed in the U.S. as well as the U.K., appeared before Queen Victoria, was responsible for a theatre burning down in London and was made bankrupt twice. His stage setting was always littered with plenty of magic props, a collection of which can be seen here, although it is likely that these were actually owned by his son Signor Rubini (1844-1920).

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