This must surely be the most lavish promotional book produced in its era.
Jez Bond is an award winning magician whose style combines high-energy magic and illusion with zany comedy. At the Blackpool Convention in March 2022 he won the competition for Family Entertainer of the Year. Jez is based in the Cambridge area but travels widely for shows and pantomime.
This appears to be part of a larger sheet or brochure because it lists Devant’s entertainments starting with the number 3, Magnetic Mysteries. The illustration of Mr. David Devant and Miss Marion Melville is signed Meisenbach.
This business card sized item is well presented, as befits his target audience. However it is a pity that the programme side of the card has been printed out of true.
This impressive advertising is to promote Devant’s ‘Brilliant and highly refined drawing-room entertainment’. The excellent portrait photographs, signed Meisenbach, show Devant and his young wife. Today we know that they were not actually married at this time.
This single sided sheet may well have been a proof copy of something meant for a larger brochure.
The front page advertises Devant’s Delightful Delusions and mentions that his inclusive terms start at one guinea. Pages 2 and 4 are blank, but page 3, also illustrated here, is full of Opinions of the Press.
One side of this advertisement, which is printed on thin card, has an eye catching illustration, including a roundel showing Devant’s head in the top left corner. The other side is headed ‘A HIGHLY-REFINED DRAWING-ROOM ENTERTAINMENT. PROGRAMME.’ Details are given of Devant’s repertoire: Prestidigitation, Hand shadows, Paper puzzles. Mental phenomena and Illusions.
The postcard shows ‘The Artist’s Dream’. This postcard idea was used again when Devant opened at St. George’s Hall, but then the reverse of the card carried a ‘Wish you were here’ message.
On one side is the rebus and a blank area where the address or name of the recipient can be written. The other side has the show details on it, as well as the answer to the rebus. This means that the card can be folded in half and glued around the perforated edges, prior to posting, so that the recipient can only see the rebus and their own name. To open the card they have to tear off the edge at the perforations, so revealing the details of the show and the answer to the rebus. Have a go at solving the rebus before you click on View Details.