Lewis Davenport’s daughter Wyn made this from a cut-out book from the British company Dean’s Rag Book Co. in the 1930s. Around this time Lewis was featuring a Mickey Mouse illusion in his stage show. The second photograph shows the Davenports’ car in Germany in the 1930s. If you look carefully at the back window, you will see Wyn’s Mickey Mouse hanging there.

This joke optical illusion card is Copyright 2001 James Dalgety. It came into the collection as part of the Grand Illusions (www.grand-illusions.com) Christmas Pack 2018/2019. James based it, with permission, on a much earlier card that he saw when he visited the Davenport Collection. Should you follow the instructions on the card, you won’t see a nodding donkey, but people watching you will see one.

As you walk past the head it turns to follow you. John & Anne Davenport in 2012 commissioned Josie Camus in Cambridge to make this as a gift for Roy & Anne Davenport. Its purpose was to mark the opening of Davenports Magic Kingdom in 2013. It was given to Roy & Anne on 18 Dec 2012.

When the drawer at the bottom is opened a cigarette is instantaneously lifted into the mouth of the dog. The effect is magical. The box contains a stock of cigarettes, which is filled by sliding back the top of the box. Each time the drawer closes it is automatically loaded with a cigarette ready for the next use. The box is stamped on the base: Fairylite Regd. Foreign. Patent No. 205291 Foreign.

John Davenport recalls that this was a gag used by his father Gus. Gus would say something like ‘I usually get a big hand for this trick.’ This hand is the one that Gus used.

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.

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.

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.