Boxes such as this, which are the correct size for a pack of cards, were often used by magicians to help them achieve a desired magical effect. This one was sold by Davenports. It is slightly larger than the example given Ref. no. N145. Once the possession of Cambridge magician Claude Perry.

The Davenport advertisement (illustrated) said that ‘At present a sensation in the current programmes of the “GREAT CARMO” and DANTE. World Famous Magicians.’ The magician shows the empty barrel and covers each end with tissue paper. An ordinary metal tap is then placed in the centre of the paper, where it remains, and on turning on the tap the magician is able to pour out wine which can be dstributed amongst the audience. Davenports would have purchased these barrels wholesale from Germany.

The magician shows twelve cards and explains to an audience member who is helping that it is possible to find cards by spelling their names. For example, to find an ace, for ‘A’, place the top card on the bottom of the stack. Then do the same for ‘C’ and ‘E’. Remove the next card and show that it is an ace. The magician repeats this to spell the TWO and the THREE and then the helper tries. Each time the helper tries, a joker is turned up. The magician never gets it wrong. The trick was put out by Davenports, as can be seen from the Davenport demons on the jokers. The full working, and opportunities for comedy, are explained in the Davenport instructions.

A penny is borrowed and ‘magnetized’. The magician then causes the coin to vanish and reappear in most mysterious ways. Davenports sold the trick in an envelope complete with instructions. An early Davenports advertisement is also illustrated. The collection contains another magnetized coin, this time a French coin dated 1946.

This trick was sold by Davenports and credited to Mandroop the Magician – George McAthy. In this comedy routine the magician displays a wide belt and patters about the famous Houdini Outdone escape, where the magician can cause anyone to become an escape artist. The details can be read in the illustrated advertisement, but suffice it to say that the spectator who helps with this trick escapes from the rope, but in a way that causes a good laugh. Complete with Davenport instructions.

A single ribbon passed through the hand of the magician changes colour. This is a Demon Series trick in its original envelope including Davenport instructions.

The bag is shown quite empty, yet an egg placed inside vanishes or appears at the will of the magician. The trick comes with Davenport instructions. Two Davenport advertisements are also illustrated.

The performer shows a single red ball which magically multiplies into two more. These two balls then vanish one at a time leaving just the first ball. The trick comes with Davenport instructions. It was probably made by a German manufacturer because enclosed were also instructions in three languages, the first being in German: ‘Nr. 3169. Die sich vermehrenden Billiardbälle. [The Multiplying Billiard Balls.]’

Nobody is better placed than Donald to tell the story of Goodliffe the Magician and the magazine Abracadabra which Goodliffe founded in 1946 – the World’s Only Magical Weekly. Donald was involved with Abra from 1965 for over 40 years, many of those as Managing Editor, so you will also learn about Donald’s life in magic. The talk is full of insight and humour and the story is brought to life with over forty illustrations. Where else will you see Goodliffe with His Holiness Pope Paul V1, or Michael Bailey riding a bicycle?