This illustration is from The Entr’acte, 13 June 1874. George Cooke’s name is incorrectly given as ‘Cook’.
This fund was organised by Will Goldston in 1917. This item will have come to the Davenports on the purchase of Goldston’s business.
‘The Illustrated London News’ of 4 May 1907, page 673, carried this rather impressive photo montage of the legal wrangle. The case garnered much press coverage at the time. Further details are often given in books on British magic history which cover this period.
St. James’s Hall, situated between Regent Street and Piccadilly, was the first central London venue for Maskelyne and Cooke, prior to their move to the Egyptian Hall. People used to reading 19th century newspaper prose will know that it can be, shall we say, over the top. This particular article on pages 145, 146 and 160 would take some beating! Caution must be exercised in believing that the drawings are an accurate representation of the hall.
This piece advertises the start of the new season of Messrs. Maskelyne and Cooke’s marvellous entertainment on Monday evening, 10 November 1873.
The advertisement is on page 363 for Maskelyne and Cooke at the Egyptian Hall, London. It mentions ‘a programme of inexplicable illusions and mechanical wonders’ and highlights Fanfare and Labial. W. Morton is named as Manager. To put this period in context, an article in the issue considers whether electric light is likely to replace gas light on the streets of London.
The illustration is from The Penny Illustrated Paper, 3 April 1875, page 213. Also shown is the informative article which was printed on pages 213 and 214.
J.N. (“Jack”) Maskelyne was the eldest of Nevil Maskelyne’s five children. He was not interested in joining the family magic business. He was a railway enthusiast and became well known for his knowledge of locomotives. This print is of the locomotive Claud Hamilton, which Jack lovingly describes on pages 108-109 of his book ‘Locomotives I Have Known’ published by Percival Marshall in 1959. The Davenport Collection also contains a copy of the book signed by J.N. Maskelyne in 1960.
Members of J.N. Maskelyne’s company presented the original of this testimonial, dated 26 May 1898, to JN. This particular copy is rather special because JN gave it to George Cooke for Christmas 1898. His inscription on the reverse is ‘To G.A. Cooke| Accept this copy with my [incomplete word, possibly ‘heartfelt’] reciprocation of the good wishes in the original. | J.N. Maskelyne | Christmas 1898.’
Members of J.N. Maskelyne’s company presented the original of this testimonial, dated 26 May 1898, to JN. In the collection there is another copy of this testimonial inscribed by J.N. Maskelyne to G.A. Cooke. See Ref. no. N1919.