The Queen of Wands. The Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot
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A sparkling Queen of Wands goes to the ball

The Queen of Wands is arguably the most seductive and immediately attractive of the Tarot Queens. She represents a mature female who is energetic, warm, quick to throw herself into new activities – and sometimes new relationships – and who radiates an irresistible charm. 

She is also, interestingly, associated with black cats, as in the original Rider Waite Smith card, she is accompanied by a black cat (and if you would like to read more about the myths and beliefs about black cats, we have an article here on an earlier blog post.)

We knew, the moment we saw the miniature sedan chair, that in our depiction, the cat would be represented by the two “chairmen”, the servants who carry a sedan. We then had a lot of fun thinking about their expressions! We chose Oriental cats to give a great contrast to the white cat Queen.

We wanted our Queen to be suitably alluring, so we made a particularly detailed and elaborate costume, sewn in a very fine habotai silk. You can see a photo of the dress in progress below.

The Only Running Footman
The old inn sign that inspired the chairmen's costumes.
sedan chair during test photoshoot for The Bohemian Cats' Theatre Tarotr
The photography in progress. This was just a planning shot.
The Queen of Wands fine silk dress in progress. You will see another scene with this character and dress in The Bohemian Cats Theatre Book.
The Rider Waite Smith tarot Queen of Wands, complete with black cat.

The black cat chairmen’s costumes are made in silk velvet, with our own embroidery designs. We stitch these ourselves using the embroidery machine in the studio, before cutting and sewing the fabrics.

We based the design of these costumes on an old image of “The Only Running Footman”, which was an inn sign at a public house in Hay Hill, England (see above). 

The Bohemian Cats Theatre Tarot Queen of Wands in a sedan chair pulled by black cats. Grid and copyright notice are not on the final cards.

Answers to some of your questions about this Queen of Wands

But she is in a conveyance. So why isn’t this The Chariot?
We initially did think about using this sedan chair as the basis for The Chariot. But then Alex watched the 1994 film, Farinelli, and began to think about a very different image. However, we were at the same time thinking about how to incorporate – in a cat tarot! – the famous black cat of the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) Tarot Queen of Wands, and realised that there was a perfect solution. We hope you’ll love The Chariot as well as the Queen of Wands.

Where did  you get the miniature sedan chair?
Germany! We found it in a German auction that was selling many absolutely beautiful antique and vintage children’s toys and collectibles. You will see some more pieces from the same auction in other cards.

Do you plan to sell any of these costumes and props?
We get asked this a lot. The costumes are very much made for photography and are definitely NOT suitable for dressing real cats! So we don’t plan to sell any of them. We are, however, hoping to set up an online exhibition of them once the deck is published, as there has been a lot of interest expressed and many people would love to see these miniature baroque costumes in more detail.

We probably will sell some of the props, many of which are antique and unique, simply because of lack of storage space. But we don’t plan to do this for a little while, once we have had time to decide if we need to keep anything longer term.

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