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The Zancigs

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Revision as of 06:11, 30 May 2008 by Philippe billot (Talk | contribs) (References)

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The Zancigs were stage magicians and authors on occultism who performed a spectacularly successful two-member mentalism act during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Julius Zancig (1857-1929) -- born Julius Jörgensen in Copenhagen, Denmark -- was the originator of the routine.


Several versions of The Zancigs act 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 (also born in Copenhagen). 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 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.


  • Zancig, Julius. Adventures in Many Lands (1924) (online version)
  • Crystal Gazing, The Unseen World: a Treatise on Concentration. I. and M. Ottenheimer Publishers. 1926
  • Goldston, Will. The Truth About the Zancigs in Sensational Tales of Mystery Men. 1929. (online version)
  • Fixen, Laura G. The True Secret of Mind Reading as Performed by the Zancigs. 1912.