When a penny is placed in the slot, a young lady appears in the horizontal box on the right of the photograph, at which point the magician slices her through many times with a vicious looking sword. After a while the lady vanishes from the box and appears in the gold cage on the left. The illusion operates on the principle of Pepper’s Ghost. This machine, part of the Davenport Collection, was in extremely poor condition. It was renovated by engineer and magician Tony Middleton of Cambridge, with help from John Davenport and other friends in 2015. It is the belief of the restoration team that the coin-op was a prototype because of various design faults that would have made it unsuitable for commercial use. These faults have now been rectified. Roy Davenport is on the left and Tony Middleton on the right of the photograph.
This was made by friend David Hay in 2014. It requires six pieces of paper, two of each colour. The design is by Thoki Yenn, who died in 2004.
This novelty is most unusual in that the tipsy man has been printed in colour on the flat side of a coil of paper. The round coil is housed in a square cardboard container which has partial openings at the front and back. By moving the picture with thumb and forefinger the coil can be twisted, so distorting the man. The words on the cardboard container are ‘Zetes-Patent’. This is one of a number of designs of this novelty – see also ref. no. N1314 and N1315.
Underneath this hollowed out roll is fitted an exploding cap mechanism. When the roll is picked up the cap explodes. The roll is very realistic because it is a real roll treated in some way to make it durable. Made in Germany. The box has on it ‘DRGM’ and ‘1254’. The roll has a sample label on it: #1254. This was clearly a sample sent to Davenports, but we do not know from which German supplier it came.
The images are ‘Sommer’ (Summer) and ‘Winter’ painted by Giuseppe Arcimboldo in the 1500s. The card was available in 2019 from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna copyright L.M. Kartenvertrieb.
In 2019 this fan was available free of charge to visitors at the Weltmuseum (World Museum), Vienna for use on hot days. The fan was made from pleated paper with sticky tape binding the paper at one end. The paper was left over advertising leaflets from an earlier exhibition. This was a welcome, ecological initiative on the part of the museum.
When you brush your hand over the front cover of the book, the image of a frog turns into the words I SWEAR I’M A PRINCE. This reversible sequin fabric became very popular towards the end of the 2010s. Manufactured by Zebra A/S, Copenhagen. Made in China. Purchased new in 2019.
To make the frog leap forward simply press down on the tab between its hind legs. Found in a Christmas cracker in 2019.
Made by www.dbs-blechspielwaren.de. This clever monkey made of tin can multiply two numbers together. Set the monkey’s feet to point at two numbers. The monkey’s fingers then point to their product. The photograph shows the monkey multiplying 5 and 9 to make 45.
Made by Tenyo, Japan. Although this is strictly a magic trick, it partly depends on an amazing optical effect, the details of which are not divulged here so as to protect the secret of the trick.