Wonderous Things from Old Magic Catalogs: Hyperbole (2)

O.K., here’s a depiction of the famous Chinese Sticks (from Mephisto Huis Catalog Nr. 7):

This seems to be a jumbo version. Nice!
But wait – further down in the copy it says that these sticks are 45 cm long (that’s less than 20 inches).

Now I wonder: How tall is the performer???


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Stereotypes in Magic Catalogs (2)

Here are some more Chinese depictions I have found in older European catalogs like Zauberkatalog Bartl (around 1920), Joe Wildon’s Zauberkatalog (1959), Tricks für Sie (Joe Wildon, 1963), Mephisto-Huis Catalogus Nr. 7 (1960s/70s?), Modern Magic Hauptkatalog (Zauberzentrum Janos Bartl, 1979), Zauberkatalog viennamagic (1993), and The Demon Catalogue (Davenports Magic, 2006):

Please keep in mind that these illustrations were most likely never intended to offend anyone on purpose. They merely reflect perceptions, expectations and stereotypes of the mystic and exotic, sly and enigmatic Chinese wonder workers prevalent at a certain time and place in Western societies. We may judge differently today.


You can read part one of this topic here.