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.

Box containing some of De Biere’s props. The box was found in a Davenport store and has ‘Arnold De Biere’ written on it in Gus Davenport’s writing, as well as ‘De Biere’ in what looks as though it could be Lewis Davenport’s writing in blue crayon. The box contained a number of items, not all of which are shown on this open access website because they would reveal magic secrets. Search under Arnold De Biere in People to find what is listed on this website.

Found in box N198 and still stored inside it. The cape is made of black velvet with a lilac lining. The style suggests it would have been worn over the right shoulder. There is a deep pocket on the inside.