Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.
E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.
The March 2022 issue included:
– the launch of the Films Category and the Davenport Film Collection YouTube Channel.
– Ali Bongo version of the Gozinta Box with a double load.
– “Humpty Dumpty” children’s paper tearing trick.
– Devant’s early performing career.
– the staying power of traditional toys and novelties.
– “Shanroy” Scenery from The Servais Le Roy Company.
– an 1889 letter from J.N. Maskelyne and an unresolved issue

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.

The German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a congress in Berlin. The Davenport family – Lewis, Wynne and Gus – were there. Gus Davenport won a competition, the prize being the statuette ‘Táltos’ (see also N108). Part of his competition act is shown in this film. The film was taken by F.A. Brandt. The illustrations show Táltos and the story as told by the World’s Fair.

The German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a congress in Berlin. The Davenport family – Lewis, Wynne and Gus – were there. The President of the Magischer Zirkel was Helmut Schrieber (Kalanag). This film of Kalanag’s show at the convention was taken by F.A. Brandt.

The German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a congress in Berlin. The Davenport family – Lewis, Wynne and Gus – were there. This film of Marvelli’s show at the convention was taken by F.A. Brandt. At the convention Marvelli was awarded the ‘Ring des Magischen Zirkels’. The illustrations here are of Marvelli and the ring (credit: Magie, May 1937).

The German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a congress in Berlin. The Davenport family – Lewis, Wynne and Gus – were there. Gus Davenport conveyed greetings from magicians in Great Britain and entered, and won, a competition. This film, taken by F.A. Brandt, captures the proceedings and includes shots of many notables such as Helmut Schreiber, Marvelli and Ottokar Fischer. Brandt’s film has been edited in this version so as to avoid divulging magic secrets.

The 1948 advertisement (illustrated here) describes a long sheet of paper printed in red and black showing Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall. To the well-known Nursery Rhyme, the magician tears up the sheet to illustrate how Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and became broken in pieces. The magician continues the story; ‘All the King’s Horses and all the King’s Men could not put Humpty together again’. Maybe not, but the magician squeezes the pieces and when opened out into a long strip again, there is Humpty back sitting on the wall. This trick came out in the period of post war shortages. A simple red and black picture would have suited the period. The example in the collection, shown here, is in red and green and is probably from the 1980s. This is a Davenports item, confirmed by the LD & Co in the bottom left corner and the DEMON on the standard carried by the horseman.

Lubor Fiedler invented the Gozinta Box. In his trick, the magician shows a box, opens it and takes out the box inside. To the amazement of the audience, the magician opens up what was the inner box, and promptly places inside it the box which started out on the outside. The trick can be repeated to return the boxes to their original positions. This particular Ali Bongo item is a variation. In addition to the boxes changing places, the magician discovers a 50lb weight (or 20kg for continental audiences) and a cannon ball inside.

The magician mixes together red, white and blue sand in a bowl of water and shows the audience that they are well mixed by pouring the wet sand through their hands. After a magic word, the magician is able to pull out a handful of each coloured sand separately, pouring it into a bowl to show that it is now completely dry. Complete with Davenports instructions. The illustrations here show the canisters of sand as well as two pages from a 1937 Davenports Demon Telegraph magazine. The magazine advertisement makes it clear that customers could purchase more than one option of the trick.

A photograph of this backdrop can be found on page 123 of Servais Le Roy – Monarch of Mystery by Mike Caveney and William Rauscher. This type of scenery was said to be invented and manufactured solely by the Company. The advertisements in Servais Le Roy’s Magical Monthly, one of which is illustrated here, claim a number of benefits compared with canvas. Not least, the scenery is said to be a third of the weight of canvas, three times as durable and can be folded or crushed without damage or creasing. Inspection of this piece, now over 100 years old, suggests the claims are true. Percy Naldrett, who at one time worked for the Company, said that the scenery was painted with aniline dyes which required expert knowledge because the colours changed markedly when the dyes dried. The colour photographs shown here were taken in 2022 by placing the backdrop flat on the floor, to avoid the possibility of damaging it by trying to hang it. The name Shanroy presumably comes from SHANtung fabric and Le ROY.

Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.
E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.

The September 2021 issue included:
– a 19th century dissecting drawer box.
– the Pipe of Wu Fang.
– the Watch Your Step “Unique Magic” children’s trick.
– a variety of jokes.
– Mickey Mouse and Lewis Davenport.
– optical illusions and optical surprises.

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.