Unfortunately this box had no contents, but in a Davenports 1933 ‘Demon Telegraph’ magazine the box was advertised as ‘Box of Cigarette Magic’. The price was two shillings and sixpence.

The word JAPAN is just visible on the mouse’s collar. The design is an imitation of a German Schuco mechanical mouse. Note that the Davenport advertisement refers to Mickey Mouse, presumably a good selling point.

Put out by Davenports circa 1920s to1930s, the box contained a variety of matchbox jokes and novelties. For example, a matchbox that will not open, one that squeaks when you pick it up, and one containing small coloured wooden blocks from which patterns can be made. Some of the matchboxes have on their labels the demon head trademark of Davenports and the initials LD.

These boxes were produced by Davenports. The label on the lid uses the Maskelyne’s Mysteries name, owned by Davenports following their purchase of the Maskelyne business assets in 1935. The box style which has gold rimmed partitions suggests that it was an early box, probably pre-war.

This set was manufactured by The Windsor Novelties, a company in Eton, Windsor, England. An advertisement in their 1914 catalogue, illustrated, explains that the box comes in two sizes. Their business was subsequently purchased by Davenports.

These instructions were found in a Davenport store. Page 4 mentions the Demon Series, LD & Co London. We believe that Lewis Davenport introduced the Demon Series in the early 1920s. To the best of my knowledge no boxes of chemical magic survive. However, in an early catalogue from 15 New Oxford Street (a shop to which Davenports moved in 1915) there is an advertisement, illustrated here, for a range of Chemical Magic Cabinets. For many decades Davenports stored a range of glassware suitable for chemistry sets. It may be that Lewis Davenport decided that chemistry sets were just too much trouble and the sets were soon abandoned.