The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is one of Cornwall's most enchanting collections. An extensive array of objects are set to be displayed at The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History in London until February 2018.
The Cornish Museum itself has over 6,000 objects and we're bringing a small selection to London after the museum closes in November, explains Simon Costin, Director of the Museum of Witchcraft.
The exhibit will feature around 40 magical objects, such as spells, charms and items from a Black Magicians altar.
There are several things in the exhibition that you may immediately associate with witchcraft, such as wands, candlesticks and jewellery, Simon tells us. But there are some more intriguing objects too. The Ritual Bell, dating back to the mid-1950s, is made from a deer hoof. Bells such as this are commonly used within Wiccan rituals as a tool of invocation and banishment. They can be used to summon spirits.
Haunting photographs taken from the brand new Book of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic by Sara Hannant and Simon Costin will also accompany the physical items.
Sarah chose 100 of the pieces and then spent a period of around three months photographing the objects in a very beautiful way. The book will be available to buy at the exhibition, Simon points out.
The museum first opened in 1951 on the Isle of Man. It moved to Boscastle in Cornwall in 1960. Now, the building has the largest and most fascinating collection of witchcraft-related literature and objects. The curation includes both old and contemporary articles.
The Fortune Telling Teacup dates back to the nineteenth century, but the practice of using the method originates in the 1600s, with the introduction of tea into Europe from China, Simon expands. There is also an Imbolc offering from 2010. The piece appears to be a version of Brigid's Cross. Usually made from rushes to form a square cross shape, these crosses are associated with Brigid of Kildare, one of the patron saints of Ireland.
Simon hopes the exhibition gives an insight into a crucial part of British folk culture that is often misunderstood:
"Magical practice has been woven through the history of humanity since time began. Humans just can't seem to help themselves; they hanker after another realm to this existence. We like to imagine that there is something more to what we experience day to day. Magic gives you a window into that possibility."
The fascinating collection will be hosted at the Museum of Curiosities from Friday 3 November 2017 to Wednesday 28 February 2018. The museum hosts an eclectic mix of art, natural history and curios and was set up by Viktor Wynd, Chancellor of The Last Tuesday Society.
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