The Zancigs were stage magicians and authors on occultism who performed a successful two-member mentalism act during the late 19th and early 20th centuries originated by Julius Zancig (March 7, 1857-1929) -- born Julius Jörgensen in Copenhagen, Denmark -- , with his wife Agnes Claussen Jörgensen (also born in Copenhagen).
Several versions of "The Zancigs" that have appeared over the years:
- From their first professional appearance in the 1880s, until her death in 1916, the act consisted of Julius Zancig and his wife Agnes Claussen Zancig. Julius and Agnes were very close to one another in real life as well as on stage and were known as "Two Minds with but a Single Thought." They had been childhood sweethearts in Denmark but grew apart, then met and fell in love again after both had emigrated to the United States. They were married in 1886. Theirs was the most popular and famous version of the act, and was successful for 30 years.
- As a performing duo, The Zancigs toured the world, visiting England, India, China, Japan, Australia, and South Africa. After several years of travel, they again settled in the United States.
- During the early 1900s, Julius Zancig wrote articles for magazines and both individually and as a pair, Agnes and Julius also wrote and published several books on such occult methods of divination and fortune telling as cartomancy and scrying with a crystal ball.
- In 1916, at around the age 59, Agnes died. Julius remarried to a schoolteacher named Ada, who had been born in Brooklyn, New York, and she became his new partner in the mentalism act.
- By 1917, Ada's dislike for public appearances had become so strong that Julius hired Paul Vucci (a.k.a. Paul Rosini) to take her place, under the stage-name "Henry."
- In 1917, Vucci was drafted into World War I and was replaced by David Theodore Bamberg (1904 - 1974), the teenaged son of a stage magician named Theo "Okito" Bamberg.
- In 1919, the Bamberg family left for Europe and Ada rejoined the act.
During the early 1900s, Julius Zancig wrote articles for magazines. Both individually and as a pair, Agnes and Julius also wrote and published several books on such occult methods of divination and fortune telling.
The Zancigs worked their stage act by means of an extremely elaborate and undetectable code, which in later years became known as the Zancig Code.
During the 1920s, the Zancigs retired from touring. Julius was in his mid 60s, and the couple settled down to a quiet life as professional astrologers, tea leaf readers, crystal ball seers, and palmists, working for private clients. For a while they resided in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Julius wrote his last book, on crystal gazing, in 1926. They were living in Ocean Park, California (now Santa Monica, California), when Julius died in 1929, at the age of 72.
Writing in 1929, the year of Julius Zancig's death, Will Goldston was among the first to describe the code. The full methodology was published some time later by the Zancigs' one-time friend and fellow mentalist-magician, Alexander the Crystal Seer.
Books about The Zancigs
- The True Secret of Mind Reading as Performed by the Zancigs by Laura G. Fixen (1912)
- Crystal Gazing, The Unseen World: a Treatise on Concentration. I. and M. Ottenheimer Publishers (1926)
- The Truth About the Zancigs in Sensational Tales of Mystery Men by Will Goldston (1929)
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- Twentieth Century Guide to Palmistry by The Zanzigs (1900).
- New Complete Palmistry by Julius Zancig (1902)
- Two Minds with but a Single Thought by The Zancigs (1907)
- Adventures in Many Lands by Julius Zancig (1924)
- How To Tell Fortunes by Cards by Agnes Zancig (1934)