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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magicians of old » » Bob White, Michigan Magician (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

drhackenbush
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Just won a set of wands that came from the estate of Bob White, a magician from Michigan who performed from the 50's through the 80's. I was wondering if anyone had any information about him?

The set includes: a P&L Vanishing Wand set with white tips and duplicate wand; a three-wand Ireland's Growing Wand set (described in Tarbell #2); and a wooden Breakaway Wand. All of the wands are well-used and to me suggests that they were used by a magician who used them well and used them often.

My plan is to carefully restore their glossy black and white paint and give them another 50 years of service if I can help it. I suppose I could just leave them as is and keep them as collectibles, but it would be a shame, it my mind, to let them collect dust when they were built to help entertain and amaze.
Bill Palmer
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Please, please, please, do not paint them glossy black and glossy white. That would not be accurate. The body of the P&L wand was a satin black. The tips were a satin white. Some of their wands were actually made of ebony. I've seen the blanks for them in Derek Kennedy's collection. I have a P&L chrome tip wand set, and it was made with a satin finish body.

If you paint them glossy, they will really look garish. The satin finish will give them the dignity they once had.
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drhackenbush
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Bill -
Thanks! I was wondering about that. Sounds like satin finish is the way to go. I'll also use the existing finishes of the Ireland set and breakaway as a guide for them and go from there - I suspect they're probably going to be matte as well given their age and quality. The wands haven't arrived, so nothing's been done yet.
drhackenbush
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Just received my wands - the P&L set, all the tips are white-painted metal and the solid wand is matte, though the tips were overpainted at some point. Gonna go full matte on those.

The 3-wand Ireland Growing Wand set looks like it was matte but got a bit of gloss with wear. Matte should be right for that as well.

The wooden Breakaway wand is matte with very overpainted white tips, so that'll be matte, too.

A bit of careful sanding and repainting and they should all have a new life in the 21st Century. The overpainting makes sense if Bob was using these for decades and wanted to freshen them up every so often. They seem like they were real workhorses, not collector's items, but with some TLC, they can be both, and do what they were meant to do.
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