Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings meet Prince Charming in Magic Worlds at Weston Park

By Culture24 Reporter | 03 May 2012
An image of a colourful illustration of a circus travelling
A Pretty Kettle of Tricks, promotional advertising story book for Colman's Mustard, England (1950s)© V&A Museum of Childhood
Exhibition: Magic Worlds, Weston Park, Sheffield, until January 6 2013

Harry Potter’s broomstick, the immortal “One Ring” from The Lord of the Rings, mechanical dancing miniatures of Cinderella and Prince Charming and 1940s puppets from Midsummer Night’s Dream all pop up in this fantastical foray through bygone tails, devoting a section to the props, conjuring sets, optical toys and tricks of the illusionist.

A “Zig Zag Girl” – used by wand-wavers in the old ruse where they split their assistant into three parts – is among the highlights, although some of the paintings, illustrations and ceramics (drawn from the V&A Museum of Childhood’s stupendous archive) are as sure to enchant as the stories they belong to.

There’s also a 1920 fairy outfit and works relating to master storyspinners such as Hans Christian Anderson, the Brothers Grimm and Tolkein.

  • Open 10am-4pm (5pm Saturday, 11am-4pm Sunday). Admission free.

More pictures:

An image of a box containing a magician's conjuring set and a box of traditional games
Abracadabra Conjuring Set, Suprex, England (1955-1965)© V&A Museum of Childhood
An image of a miniature wind-up figurine of a prince and princess dancing together
Cinderella and Prince Charming mechanical dancing dolls, England (1955)© V&A Museum of Childhood
An image of an illustration for a board game showing a girl in a forest with a wolf
Picture cubes, depicting a variety of fairy stories, Czechoslovakian (circa 1930)© V&A Museum of Childhood
An image of an illustration of an ancient poster for an Egyptian Hall performing circus
Poster for a performance by the magician John Nevil Maskelyne at the Egyptian Hall (circa 1880)© V&A Museum of Childhood
An image of a miniature train passing along a track with the wording Harry Potter behind it
Hogwarts Express, made in China by Hornby Hobbies Ltd (2001)© V&A Museum of Childhood
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