This is an electrically powered automaton. A card magically rises out of the pack while the demon waves the long pole around to show that there are no wires holding it in space. The card then descends back to the pack and the cycle repeats. The automaton was not in working order until Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton repaired and upgraded it in 2014-2016. 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.
When the cheese is picked up it wobbles. A small clockwork motor with an eccentric weight makes the cheese wobble as soon as it is picked up. Note that the cheese is labelled Demon and is imported by L. Demon & Co. These are references to Davenports Demon Series.
Made by Creil et Montereau, France. This is a high quality example of ‘pipitis’, the condition which leads to the collection of items covered in emblems, such as cards, beloved of many magicians.
The Wilfredian League of Gugnuncs (WLOG) was a children’s club run by the UK’s Daily Mirror newspaper. The badge shows the ears and top of a rabbit’s head. WLOG was founded in 1927 in response to the popularity of the newspaper’s Pip, Squeak and Wilfred comic strip. Pip was a dog, Squeak a penguin and Wilfred a rabbit. Wilfred spoke in baby talk and two of his favourite words were gug and nunc, hence the name of the club. The badge has COLLINS LONDON on the back. Collins was the badge manufacturer.
This is the well known optical illusion of three rings rotating and apparently balancing on one another. This electrically driven illusion was made in 2014 by Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton for display at the British Magic Museum.
This electrically driven illusion was made in 2014 by Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton for display at the British Magic Museum. As the spiral rotates it appears to move upwards with the two crystals suspended in space. A commercially available spiral illusion was used.
Found in a Davenport store, but it is not clear whether this was a label for a Davenport product or whether it came with the purchase of The Windsor Novelties company.
The space wheel is a perpetually rolling rotor, so long as the battery lasts! Manufactured by Andrews Manufacturing Company, USA. The wheel rolls up and down the rails, drawing energy from a hidden electromagnet every time it passes the centre point. Imported into the UK by downpace ltd, London. Complete with box and instructions.
Date unknown, but probably pre 1960s.