This large safety pin opens and closes like any safety pin. No doubt it was purchased with some joke in mind, the details of which don’t survive.

A finger ring appears to shrink and expand when slowly rotated. The illusion is strong. Copyright 2002 Rob Stiff. The instructions with the ring have on them www.magicmakersinc.com.

The ball is made out of glass and has a ground and polished flat base. Once the possession of Cambridge magician Claude Perry.

The cigarette box is first shown empty, and when reopened cigarettes have magically appeared. This box has no markings to identify its source. However, another box Ref. no. N146, is stamped ‘GERMANY’.

The case opens up to a length of 1590mm revealing four layers for holding samples. Originally first half of the 20th century, it was fitted with internal partitions circa 1970. This sample case was found in a Davenport store. It was fitted with white cardboard partitions to hold part of John Davenport’s collection of wire disentanglement puzzles.

Gus and John Davenport built an OO gauge model railway in the 1960s. Once built, they tired of watching the trains go round, and so looked for other things to add to the layout. On one side of the layout was a cliff covered in nothing other than clumps of grass on the cliff face. This seemed the ideal spot to build a funicular, and that is what they did. I have included it on this website for personal reasons, and on the basis that a home made funicular is certainly a novelty! A film of the layout made by magician Harry Baron is also in the collection.

This was a gift from Cambridge magician and family friend Tony Middleton to John and Anne Davenport in 2015. Tony made the magician from a Timberkits kit consisting of pre-cut pieces of plain wood. Timber Kits Ltd are based in Wales. The colourful decoration and many embellishments are down to Tony’s imagination and skill. As the handle is turned, the magician looks down and covers the object on the table with his hands, turning the object from a rabbit, to a teapot, to a frog, to an apple, before repeating the cycle.

This is an excellent scientific novelty which causes amazement when people see it for the first time, irrespective of whether they are scientifically minded. (The version in the Davenport Collection was made for an American company, hence disk rather than disc.) The base is a slightly concave mirror on which you spin a heavy disk, much like you would spin a coin on its edge. However, unlike a coin, the heavy disk spins for a very long time and, as it slows, the sound it makes changes. There is a real surprise when it stops. There are a number of magnetic pieces with holographic surfaces which can be placed on the flat surface of the disk and which create intriguing light and colour patterns as the disk rotates. According to the box it was invented by Joseph Bendik in the 1980s. Made in Taiwan.