The Davenport Collection
- a growing resource on magic and entertainment history

Magic

Look here for magic apparatus, magic sets and magic related items such as association pieces, trophies and badges for clubs.

1906 Magic Circle membership badge for Martin Mayhew (real name Donald Stevenson)

1906 Magic Circle membership badge for Martin Mayhew (real name Donald Stevenson)

Many people may know the name Donald Stevenson because he was an engineer who worked with Chung Ling Soo. He is mentioned in Will Dexter’s book The Riddle of Chung Ling Soo. Fewer people realise that Stevenson used the name Martin Mayhew for his magic. I’m grateful to Michael Colley for pointing this out to me, and supplying background infromation on Stevenson, who was also well known in the emerging world of model aeroplanes.

Collection of Marvin’s Magic items

Collection of Marvin’s Magic items

When Marvin Berglas was the guest speaker at the John Salisse Luncheon Club on 22 April 2024 in London, he gave this pack to all attendees. The luncheon club is an opportunity for attendees to share information and views on topics of magic history and collecting. It was founded by John Salisse in 2002 and meets typically three times each year.

Film of a Davenport Demon levitating a playing card automaton

Film of a Davenport Demon levitating a playing card automaton

This electrically powered automaton shows a Davenport Demon levitating a playing card. When found in a storeroom, the automaton was not in working order. Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton did a great job repairing it and upgrading it to get it back into reliable working order. The original age of the automaton is probably mid-20th century. We do not know if the automaton was ever on display at Davenports shop. See also N869.

Magical Variations by Alan Maskell

Magical Variations by Alan Maskell

Alan produced this for a workshop of The Young Magicians Club on 19 April 2008. This is the club organised by The Magic Circle. The tricks inside are strong magic, entertaining and can be performed without special apparatus.

Card to Rose from E. & S.

Card to Rose from E. & S.

The description on the envelope is that an ordinary playing card when passed in front of the hand, changes into a flower. It is hard to believe that anyone ordering this through the post would be impressed when it arrived. E. & S. was a name used by Ellisdons.

Improved Devil’s Own Card Trick

Improved Devil’s Own Card Trick

This is said to be the Professional Edition. The envelope containing the trick says ‘The only trick cards on earth enabling you to perform what heretofore had been considered an impossibility’. Read the rest of the description on the envelope to see if you agree. Complete with instructions.

The Disappearing Spots

The Disappearing Spots

Four three spot cards are show. First they change into four Aces, and finally they are shown to be blank. Complete with instructions. The envelope containing the trick has the initials L D on it, for Lewis Davenport, confirming that the trick was supplied by Davenports.

Ormond McGill’s “The Stars Won’t Tell”

Ormond McGill’s “The Stars Won’t Tell”

The following description comes from the envelope in which the trick was sold. Three “Cutie” Zodiac Cards are placed in the Astrologer’s Tent. One Disappears! The Watchers think they are Wise, and How They Bite on the Sucker Finish. It’s a Sockeroo . . . BUT THE STARS WON’T TELL!

This sucker trick was distributed by Thayer’s Studio of Magic. Complete with instructions.

The Great Hindoo Trick Cards

The Great Hindoo Trick Cards

The performer shows the four Eights of a pack, which change into the four Twos. They then change into four red cards, folowed by four black cards. Complete with instructions. The envelope and instructions have E. & S. on them, confirming that the trick was from Ellisdons.

Riddle Match by Chris Wardle

Riddle Match by Chris Wardle

Six riddle joke cards and six answers are mixed, as dictated freely by a spectator. Yet, when the cards are turned over, each riddle has been solved and is a perfect match with the answer card. Complete with instructions.

Do As I Do Surprise

Do As I Do Surprise

This is a packet trick using a spectator which has a surprise finish. The illustration explains the routine from Southwest Magic Supplies, Bideford, England. Complete with instructions.

Magik Musik by Robert Harbin

Magik Musik by Robert Harbin

The magician explains that he has six playing cards on which are printed the titles of six popular songs. The cards are shuffled and a member of the audience takes one and looks at the tune on it. Immediately the band starts playing that tune. Davenports publicity for the trick tells us that it has been presented by Robert Harbin at the Savoy Hotel with Geraldo’s Band and was a great success. Complete with instructions.