Wands are a huge part of the magic system in Harry Potter. A wand is required to perform most magic (from what I've seen so far). This definitely isn't the first instance of wands being used to assist or perform magic. I remember watching Disney's The Sword in the Stone when I was a kid and seeing Merlin use his wand to perform magic. While this movie is from 1963, I'm sure there are much earlier examples of wands in use, but which is the first?

I'm specifically looking for wands not staffs. This is not limited to Disney movies. Any example is acceptable.

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  • If we're just talking about Disney movies, the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio (1940) used a magic wand.
    – user14111
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 22:17
  • It's your post. Roll back my edit if you disagree with it.
    – user14111
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 22:27
  • 2
    Very far from the earliest, but a character in Jurgen (1919) uses a wand: "This sister had married a notary, and was a shrewd woman. In consequence, she took with her this evening a long wand of peeled willow-wood. [. . .] And the notary's wife followed her to Amneran Heath, and across the heath, to where a cave was. This was a place of abominable repute. A lean hound came to meet them there in the twilight, lolling his tongue: but the notary's wife struck thrice with her wand, and the silent beast left them." Not clear if any magic is involved.
    – user14111
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


The Oxford English Dictionary lists uses of the word "wand" in the magical sense going back to the 1400s. The oldest quote it cites is from The Wars of Alexander (Alexander C on this page):

On hiȝt in his a hand haldis a wand And kenely be coniurisons callis to him spritis.

Since The Wars of Alexander attributes superhuman qualities to Alexander the Great, it would be reasonable to call it a work of fantasy.

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