This is a sugar basin as used in the coffee trick. In this trick the magician shows that a coffee pot, milk jug and sugar basin are empty. Then, using a little magic, the pot fills with coffee, the jug with milk and the basin with sugar. The hot drink can then be shared with the audience. This was given to John Davenport by Alf Looker in 1983. Alf said he bought it at Davenports in 1935. For the complete trick see Ref. no. N235.

Carlton was a successful comedy magician in the early part of the 20th century. This novelty is most unusual in that Carlton’s head 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 face. This was clearly commissioned from the manufacturer by Davenports because the words on the container are ‘CARLTON. Zetes-Patent. Demon Series No. 45 L. D. London’. According to the illustrated advertisement from a contemporary Davenport catalogue over 30 different designs can be supplied. This might have been true, but now we are only aware of three. The other two do not show magicians. For further information on the other two, go to N1315 and N1316.

This is basically a soot card joke. The instructions on the envelope say: “Hold in a good light and see if you can read correctly the words on this card”. As the reader twists the card around to read the message they get their fingers covered in soot from the back of the card. The Windsor Novelties operated around the start of the 20th century. This particular item is shown in their catalogue of 1914. The business was subsequently bought by Davenports.

The Demon Sand Trick is advertised on the front cover in colour. The catalogue has 20 pages. The business address, and the fact that the telephone number is Holborn 9012, allow us to date the catalogue between 1927 and 1937. The style of the catalogue suggests the 1930s. Also shown is the inside page which advertises the trick on the cover.

The Davenport family used the name Maskelyne’s Mysteries for their range of magic sets following their purchase of the Maskelyne’s business assets in 1935. This filled box is from around the 1950s, but the box itself with gold edging to the compartments may well be pre-war.

The Davenport family used the name Maskelyne’s Mysteries for their range of magic sets following their purchase of the Maskelyne’s business assets in 1935. This filled box is from around the 1950s, but the box itself with gold edging to the compartments may well be pre-war. This box was probably one put together by Gus Davenport when he was running Goldstons, which was the wholesale part of Davenports in the 1950s.

The bookplate was designed by Larry Barnes the magician, versatile entertainer and Pearly King. At one time he worked at Davenports.