No, these are not magic wands. Although pointy, and designed to be waved about with intent, these wood-turned sticks are indicators of expert knowledge.
Whenever there’s an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow talking about the latest heirloom or second-hand find, they all use their sticks to guide the viewer, and to avoid touching the items, keeping their damaging skin grease from the valuable masterpieces. A pointer also prevents blocking the view of the cameras while adding that level of professionalism, that little something that only a hand-made instrument – in itself a piece of art – can bring to the situation.
Whether you call it a wand or merely a stick, I call it a carefully crafted honer-in of expertise that helps explain those hidden details on an intricate photograph, the tiny mark on a ceramic treasure, or the history of a worn old piece of furniture your ancestor left in the attic.