Once upon a time Saruman was a wise and kind wizard. He achieved the highest level a wizard could attain, which was signified by his white robe. But when Sauron returned Saruman changed his alliance from the light to the dark.
Saruman's change was unknown to Gandalf when he sought advice from his mentor. Saruman first attempted to bring Gandalf over to the dark side so that they could rule along with Sauron but Gandalf refused. That was when these two ancient beings began to fight.
Their age did not hinder them since wizards battle with magic, not might. Gandalf fought valiantly but in the end Saruman prevailed and imprisoned Gandalf at the top of the Tower of Orthanc.
Westland created a tribute to this battle with the Gandalf and Saruman salt and pepper shakers. They are beautifully painted and show each wizard with his magical staff. There is a magnet that keeps them in the position you see here so they are always in proper fighting mode.
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