These four pink pages offer ‘A Selection of the World’s Best Jokes, Tricks, Puzzles, Magic, Novelties (made in England)’. No item costs more than six old pence (6d). I am grateful to Philip Treece for explaining in 2021 that the use of E. & S. allowed retailers like Woolworths to purchase from Ellisdons without fear that customers would be directed to purchase directly from Ellisdons. The fascinating story as to how this list of items came about will be told in a forthcoming book by Philip Treece about the Ellisdon family and business.
This catalogue from Davenports was devoted to silk tricks. It was unusual in that some of the inside pages were in colour. Based on clues from the contents of the catalogue, the likely date is 1935. The Gussie the Duck silk was named after Gus Davenport. Also illustrated in the catalogue is Gilly the Hound (named after Gilly Davenport) and Wally the Wolf (named after Wally Davenport).
The catalogue also contains a few pages of novelties, puzzles and jokes. A sticker has been pasted onto the front cover pointing out that prices cannot be guaranteed owing to the War. The catalogue has been dated on this basis. The back cover is also illustrated because it gives their various addresses in London at the time, as well as noting their presence in Paris and Nuremberg.
The Demon Sand Trick is advertised on the front cover in colour. The catalogue has 20 pages. The business address, and the fact that the telephone number is Holborn 9012, allow us to date the catalogue between 1927 and 1937. The style of the catalogue suggests the 1930s. Also shown is the inside page which advertises the trick on the cover.
The cover shows David Devant in the costume worn by him at the Royal Command Performance at The Palace Theatre, 1 July 1912. The catalogue covers magic and its allied arts, juggling, puzzles, novelties and jokes. This catalogue also contains an order form which is a sheet of paper, folded into 4 pages, all of which are printed.
60 pages crammed full with jokes, novelties, puzzles, magic and gifts. At one time Ellisdons had a large retail shop in Holborn, London. By 1969 they had become fully mail order, operating from Bedford in England.
This 1915 catalogue includes novelties, jokes, puzzles and magic. The catalogue includes Joke Corsets described as “the latest 1915 joke”. Since Davenports moved from 13 New Oxford Street in August 1915, the date of this catalogue must therefore be 1915.