This French box beautifully decorated in Napoleon III style is also expertly made. In the usual drawer box trick, the magician opens the drawer to show that the box is empty. When closed and reopened, the drawer is now full of whatever the magician wishes. This box goes one step further. After the first production the magician can disassemble the box to show it is empty (see photographs), but when reassembled a second production can be made. Details of boxes such as this one are described in Professor Hoffmann’s book ‘Modern Magic’. With the agreement of Marco Pusterla we have included a link to his blog here where he discusses this type of drawer box.
The tray may be used to add additional cards to a pack of cards placed on it. The instructions are on a carbon copy from L. Davenport & Co. 39 New Oxford Street. London. W.C.1.
First one boomerang, and then the other, appears to be the longest. When the magician wishes, the red boomerang can be shown to be the shorter by placing one boomerang on top of the other. This latter feature is not possible with the traditional boomerang trick, which depends solely on an optical illusion and the presentation skills of the magician. The boomerangs are stamped PL | PAT. PEND for the Petrie-Lewis Manufacturing Company, Newhaven, Connecticut, USA.
The magician shows the pipe which has two tassels hanging from it on cords. The cords are apparently joined, because when one tassel is pulled down, the other rises up. The magician then separates the pipe into two pieces. The audience is amazed to see that when the tassel is pulled down on one half of the pipe, the tassel on the other half moves up exactly as if the cord was still joined. The effect is magical and amusing. As always, the entertainment value depends largely on the quality of the patter used. The pipe was made and sold by Burtini Magic. The illustrated description is from a Burtini catalogue.
The magician places the end of a length of rope into the vase. Once the magic word is spoken the vase hangs on the rope in defiance of gravity. The magician can even swing the vase around on the end of the rope. Rope and vase may be examined by the audience. Note that the Davenport demon trademark is on the base of the vase.
The magician uses this bag to produce or vanish an egg at will. A great deal of fun and mystery can be had when the magician uses a spectator to help.
The magician shows a billiard ball and in a series of movements manages to create four billiard balls. By reversing the magic they can all be made to disappear. The balls were said to have been supplied by Davenports.
During performance the red and white checkers travel from the middle of the stack to the bottom and then, one at a time, to the top. The composite photograph illustrates this. At every stage the checkers can be removed one by one off the spindle and replaced. We have not seen an advertisement for this trick but have been told that the German magic dealer Conradi Horster sold them in 1934 under the name Fantasia. To protect the secret not all features of the apparatus have been illustrated.
This is a well-made and well-decorated wooden children’s trick. It consists of two decorated stands with some cut-out faces of children. The theme of the trick is to illustrate the awful injuries that can happen if children do not follow road safety rules. All ends well, but the instructions do suggest that: ‘the harrowing details of the accidents and of injuries sustained, should be avoided to prevent giving the Effect too gruesome an atmosphere!’ The trick includes instructions and suggested rhyming patter.
As is often the case, the real interest is in the story which lies behind this item. It was probably in the 1930s that magician Jack Blake was in Davenports and saw this handkerchief at the back of the counter. George Davenport was out at the time and so Mr Blake asked Gus Davenport if he could have a look at it, and what was the price. On being told, he bought it. Later, when George came back, he was furious because the item was a prototype and not for sale. In fact the material was not silk, but a heavier material. Gus didn’t know it was not for sale. We only know of this story because in 1989 Granville Taylor (Faust) bought the cloth from Mr Blake and then, almost a decade later in 1998, Granville presented it to John and Anne Davenport with a message that included: ‘I think it is only fitting that it should be returned to The House of Davenport . . . P.S. Make sure it doesn’t accidently disappear again!’ The story is contained in letters from Granville and Mr Blake which reside in the collection.