Boxes covered in paper of this design were usually produced by Gus Davenport for the firm Robins. However this box, unfortunately with no contents, has a Maskelyne’s Mysteries label and instruction sheet on the inside of the lid. It should be recognised that there is no such thing as a definitive collection of Davenport produced magic sets. Boxes and contents were mixed and matched to make best use of available stock and meet the price required by the customer.

This is a magic set put together by Gus Davenport around the late 1950s, either when he was running Goldston’s or when he was in partnership with Maureen Robin. The box in the Davenport Collection has no contents, but also illustrated is a box once owned by Dr Michael Colley. It is shown here with his permission.

The box was illustrated in the Harrods Christmas catalogue for 1961. The price was 32/6d. The boxes were supplied by Gus Davenport, either when trading as Goldston’s or when in partnership with Maureen Robin. The box also contained the Mysterious Sponge Cubes and the Vanishing Egg, but these had perished and had to be thrown away.

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. In the 1950s Gus Davenport supplied BR Robin with magic sets which were advertised to the wholesale market. See the advertisement illustrated. The red paper on this box was typically used for the Robin’s boxes. Later these boxes were sold by Robin’s, a partnership between Gus Davenport and Maureen Robin.