The case opens up to a length of 1590mm revealing four layers for holding samples. Originally first half of the 20th century, it was fitted with internal partitions circa 1970. This sample case was found in a Davenport store. It was fitted with white cardboard partitions to hold part of John Davenport’s collection of wire disentanglement puzzles.

This was a gift from Cambridge magician and family friend Tony Middleton to John and Anne Davenport in 2015. Tony made the magician from a Timberkits kit consisting of pre-cut pieces of plain wood. Timber Kits Ltd are based in Wales. The colourful decoration and many embellishments are down to Tony’s imagination and skill. As the handle is turned, the magician looks down and covers the object on the table with his hands, turning the object from a rabbit, to a teapot, to a frog, to an apple, before repeating the cycle.

This is an excellent scientific novelty which causes amazement when people see it for the first time, irrespective of whether they are scientifically minded. (The version in the Davenport Collection was made for an American company, hence disk rather than disc.) The base is a slightly concave mirror on which you spin a heavy disk, much like you would spin a coin on its edge. However, unlike a coin, the heavy disk spins for a very long time and, as it slows, the sound it makes changes. There is a real surprise when it stops. There are a number of magnetic pieces with holographic surfaces which can be placed on the flat surface of the disk and which create intriguing light and colour patterns as the disk rotates. According to the box it was invented by Joseph Bendik in the 1980s. Made in Taiwan.

This was a gift given to all attendees of the FISM magic convention in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1991. The novelty is that when a coin is dropped through the slit in the top of the box, it immediately vanishes, although it can still be heard rattling around in the interior which apparently contains no more than a top hat floating in mid-air. This is a well made puzzling illusion. US Patent No. 4967953. Created by Tenyo. Made in Japan.

As you turn the handle, the rider gallops along on a winged horse delivering AMBROSIA U LIKE in his satchel. John Davenport assembled this from flat printed sheets which had to be cut out.

When a coin is placed on the top, the box starts moving and an arm comes out from the box, reaches for the coin and takes it into the box. Stamped on the base is Poynter Products Inc, patent pending, made in Japan. The box has on it Copyright 1964 Filmways TV Productions Inc, although this may apply to the images of the Addams Family. Battery operated.