The Davenport Collection
- a growing resource on magic and entertainment history

Advertising items

Owen Clark’s 4 page OWEN brochure

Owen Clark’s 4 page OWEN brochure

After a successful stage career performing in many parts of the world, Clark developed a new act with gigantic illusions using the name Owen. This brochure shows drawings of many of these illusions and it is well worth looking at it in detail. The brochure says the act required ten assistants and six tons of apparatus. Although this may be somewhat exaggerated, there is no doubt that it was an expensive act to tour and the financial state of variety theatres meant that the act was too expensive to book. It was a bold experiment but a financial failure.

A Modern Wizard — Owen Clark, 1902

A Modern Wizard — Owen Clark, 1902

This is a reprint from the Music Hall & Showman, 21 February 1902. The article is worth reading because it gives some insight into Clark’s interests and style. The drawing of him on the front hints at his versatility. Both sides of the reprint are illustrated here.

Owen Clark’s brochure full of Antipodean press notices

Owen Clark’s brochure full of Antipodean press notices

The impressive cover of this brochure highlights the medal that Clark received from Makelyne and Devant following his return from the Maskelyne and Devant Mysteries tour of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. The press notices comment on Clark’s excellent presentation and humour as well as his magic.

Brochure for Claude Chandler’s Magic Carpet Entertainment

Brochure for Claude Chandler’s Magic Carpet Entertainment

The design of this brochure is unusual in that it folds open to reveal 8 pages. The brochure tells us that this is ‘The Most Perfect Entertainment for Children ever devised’. The brochure has no date, but it mentions Chandler performing Devant’s Revue at St. George’s Hall. The date for this was in 1922, so the brochure cannot be earlier than 1922. All 8 pages may be viewed in the PDF.

Claude Chandler 4 page brochure

Claude Chandler 4 page brochure

Successful magician Claude Chandler (1896-1977) took bookings for stage and more intimate performances. This high quality brochure is aimed at the banquets, dinners, house parties, concerts and cabaret markets. Chandler sells himself as a rounded entertainer offering songs and sketches, ventriloquism and conjuring.

Martin Chapender brochure

Martin Chapender brochure

Chapender (1879-1905) was, by all accounts, a very accomplished magician. This brochure directs bookers to the Maskelyne and Cooke’s Entertainment Bureau. J.N. Maskelyne thought sufficiently highly of him to put him in charge of the last Egyptian Hall season, at the time when J.N. was absorbed with the move of Maskelynes to St. George’s Hall. The seven images around the central image on page 3 all have the same background. Item N3292 confirms that the photographer was Richard Brown of 35 Bold Street, Liverpool.

Stanley Collins brochure

Stanley Collins brochure

The cover of this well produced publicity brochure describes Collins (1881-1996) as an Entertainer, Society Conjurer and Chinese Juggler. The inside pages, also illustrated here, describe other skills such as Juvenile Entertainer and Ventriloquist. It was very common for entertainers to offer a wide range of skills in the early 20th century. Collins’s story is a fascinating one, told well in the book by Edwin A. Dawes: Stanley Collins – Conjurer, Collector and Iconoclast, published by Kaufman and Company in 2002.

Advertisement on silk for Doctor Alfred Berend at the Collegiate Hall, Jamaica, 1901

Advertisement on silk for Doctor Alfred Berend at the Collegiate Hall, Jamaica, 1901

The show involves performing, explaining and exposing many of the stunts performed by named magicians or spiritualists. This gives Berend an excuse for highlighting Maskelyne and Cooke at the Egyptian Hall in London, although his performance has nothing to do with them. No doubt he hoped that use of their names would result in larger audience numbers. With the silk advertisement and the considerable ticket prices, it is clear that Berend was trying to appeal to the better off in Jamaica.

Brochure for Mons Alban and Mdlle Stella

Brochure for Mons Alban and Mdlle Stella

This is a high quality brochure which includes useful information about their act, as well as a drawing by Ralph Cleaver dated 1893. A search on this website for Mons Alban and Mdlle Stella will include some Maskelyne and Cooke Egyptian Hall programmes where they are on the bill.