Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.
E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.
The June 2022 issue included:
– more on David Devant’s early career.
– Uri Geller and mind power.
– Sakkaku Scale by Tenyo – a magical optical illusion.
– create wooden Japanese furniture by taking a block of wood to pieces. It’s a puzzle putting it together again.
– the link between World War II gas masks and Davenports conjurers’ wax.
– the Old and the New Magic: a look at Davenports 1956 catalogue.

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.

There is a lever on the side of the box. By pressing it, in either direction, the executioner appears to cut right through the man’s neck. This is a very clever novelty which completely fools your eyes. Despite the impossibility of this, the effect is absolutely convincing. Printed at the bottom of the picture is ‘FOREIGN BRITISH PATENT applied’. The red casing is made from what looks like Bakelite. Also illustrated is an advertisement from the Christmas 1933 issue of the Demon Telegraph. This miracle of 1933 was selling for one shilling.

This lady was made out of rubber. Sadly, the example in our collection is now perished. In her heyday, if you squeezed her tummy she underwent a wardrobe malfunction. The advertisement is from the Demon Telegraph of November 1951. View Details if you are an adult.

These seals were found with an advertising leaflet put out by W.R.F. Avery & Co. There are two types of seal, both with the Davenport Demon Series logo in the middle. One had ‘Sugared Almonds Samples’ around the edge, the other ‘Eau de Cologne The Mark of Quality’. We do not know if these seals were samples from Avery, or whether Davenports actually used them on joke products. Either way, it seems likely that Davenports purchased their seals from Avery.

The Avery leaflet is illustrated in View Details. Its purpose was to encourage customers to purchase seals commemorating the coronation of King Edward VIII, which was scheduled for 11 May 1937. Examples of such seals are shown on page 3 of the leaflet. In fact the King abdicated in December 1936, so there was no coronation for him.

Davenports made great use of printed matter and used to print much of it themselves. A selection of printing blocks is shown in the PDF which can be accessed by viewing the details of this item. The PDF also includes two cutters: one for a rabbit shape and one for a top hat shape.

We know that this photograph was taken at the 1915 B.I.F. because The Toy Trader and Exporter of Thursday 3 May 1951 published it as part of a look-back to the first B.I.F. at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington. Lewis Davenport is sitting within the stand. We do not know who the lady is. Hanging from the corner column of the stand are several catalogues with the Union Jack on the cover. This catalogue, item N1559, which is also illustrated here, shows that the flag was printed in colour and the message on the cover ‘All British Catalogue’ is entirely appropriate for the Fair. However, from the contents of the catalogue, it is doubtful that the message is entirely true.

With this brass ring the magician can perform a variety of tricks involved with getting the ring on or off a borrowed walking stick. The ring can be examined. This was a popular trick invented by Jardine Ellis, who died in 1923. The item was found in the Davenport Demon envelope, as illustrated. Complete with duplicated instructions.

This was Davenports second major post WW2 catalogue, issued from their 25 New Oxford Street address. It continued to be used following their move to 51 Great Russell Street. It was mentioned in Abracadabra, 8 October 1960 under ‘What’s New’, as illustrated here.