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.
From the magazine ‘Punch’, 2 February 1878. This political cartoon by Tenniel features Benjamin Disraeli.
The postcard advertises the stage act of Lewis Davenport and his first wife Julia. The act was silent, hence the billing ‘No Time to Talk’. Lewis and Julia performed from 1904-1909, so the date of the postcard is circa 1906.
The photograph is dated 1969. Karl Bartoni is a magician and escapologist from Blackpool, England.
The date is 31 May 1925. George W. Heller was the first Vice-President of Society of American Magicians.
George Davenport, probably in the 1930s.
Herbert J. Collings performed his pseudo-Chinese act under the name Col Ling Soo. He was a successful performer and twice served as President of The Magic Circle, from 1928 – 1931 and from 1954 – 1958. This explains why on his letterhead he has crossed out the word ‘Past’ in front of the words ‘President of the Magic Circle’. 1955 was the Golden Jubilee for The Magic Circle. His letter tells us that he had a particularly busy week over the period of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations. This item from the Chris Woodward Collection is included here with his kind permission. There is much more on this fascinating character in Ref. no. N2345, which contains Herbert J.’s illustrated ‘Smilestones: Recollections of Herbert J. Collings in his own words: 1898-1946’.