The top of the cloth is attached to a length of wood so that it can be held in one hand and waved over piece of magical apparatus to cover an appearance or disappearance. It has been used by John Davenport to cover the appearance of an appearing vase. The actual vase can be seen under Ref. no. N60.
This is a utility piece of apparatus used by a comedy magician. For example, using their favourite method, the magician pours some water into the ear of a spectator. If the spectator then bends their elbow and puts it into the top of the funnel, the water is seen to pour out from the bottom of the funnel into a glass. The comedy can be increased by another person pumping the spectator’s other arm up and down.
The advertisement from a Davenport catalogue shows the effect. The magician shows a sheet of glass held within a polished wooden frame. A playing card is placed on each side of the glass in the centre, the cards being held in place by the metal spring clips. The magician, and even members of the audience, can now push a rod right the way through the two cards, piercing the glass at the same time. The cards can then be removed showing that the glass is intact.
The magician Paula Baird clearly put a great deal of effort into gathering and collating this collection. Although unrelated to magic, the fact that Paula collected these items gives a private glimpse into the personality of one of the most successful British female magicians of her day. She was a lovely lady and a good friend of the Davenports.
This was presented to John Davenport in 1994 by Cambridge magician Claude Perry. Claude told John that John Gambling used to have these special pieces of paper made up by Cambridge printers Foister & Jagg. The paper could be used to vanish a handkerchief. They pre-date the Tarbell Cone.
At The Magic Circle Collectors’ Day in 1996 there was a sale of some of Tommy Cooper’s possessions. The proceeds went to The Magic Circle Headquarters Fund and the Grand Order of Water Rats. This pack consists of several items: a walkerprint postcard with Tommy’s caricature, a Tommy Cooper stamp, a card trick, and a ball point pen which has on it a caricature of Tommy and the words STOLEN FROM TOMMY COOPER.
At The Magic Circle Collectors’ Day in 1996 there was a sale of some of Tommy Cooper’s possessions. The proceeds went to The Magic Circle Headquarters Fund and the Grand Order of Water Rats. This item consisting of metal cups was purchased for the Davenport Collection, even though the routine was not clear.
This trick was invented by British magician J.F. Orrin. A card is chosen and then the magician causes it to vanish. The spider is shown at the middle of the web and the magician explains that the spider is very good at finding missing cards. The web is spun and the audience sees the chosen card gradually appearing at the feet of the spider. It’s a novel way of finding a chosen card. The illustration is from a Davenports catalogue.
In 1926 Lewis Davenport, his wife Wynne and children Gus and Wyn toured South African theatres. They travelled there and back on R.M.S. Arundel Castle. These souvenirs made of electroplated nickel silver (EPNS) would come from this trip. The postcard showing the steamer is from the same period, no doubt also collected on the trip.
Unfortunately one of the white ends is missing.