The magician magically causes a bird to vanish from the cage on one stand and appear in the cage on the other stand. According to one expert, the cages were made by Bartl or Willmann in Germany.

The magician makes a fire in the pan. When the lid is removed a bird has appeared inside. The dove pan is stamped DEMON. Although sold by Davenports, the dove pans were made by Burtini, a UK magic dealer well known for manufacturing top quality metal work. Davenports later bought Burtini’s business.

This was a gift from Frank Lane (Frank Caldwell, magician and family friend) to John Davenport, probably in the late 1960s or 1970s. Frank used to wear it and John recalls that Frank told him he used it as a sign for gaining entry at a speak easy. He would show it at a grill in the door. John recalls that Frank said someone else had a similar ring – could it have been Ted Annemann? The curator would very much like to hear from anyone who may have information.

A signed letter dated 21 July 1984 from Ronald Nesbitt, son of The Great Nesbitt, authenticates that this item sold to Messrs. L. Davenport & Co. was formally the property of the late Chung Ling Soo. It was purchased by The Great Nesbitt in July 1919.

This brass and mahogany trunk is of the type used by the Maskelynes in the sketch Will, the Witch and the Watchman. The Davenport family bought the assets of the Maskelyne business in the 1930s. This trunk was found in a canvas cover labelled Clive Maskelyne, South Africa. Clive did indeed tour South Africa, so this is probably the trunk he used. It certainly shows signs of wear and tear.