In 2015 the bare mechanism of this electrically operated window figure was found in a Davenport store in very bad condition. The figure turned its head from side to side and raised and lowered its arms. In 2016 a Cambridge magician and family friend, Tony Middleton, had the vision to strip it down and re-engineer the figure, to convert it into a Chinese magician performing a magic trick. With the help of John Davenport, the figure now levitates a Chinese lantern up and down in the air, passing a ring over it to show there is nothing but magic holding the lantern suspended. Tony christened the magician Chung Ling Soo from the outset. The figure has been on display in the family’s magic museum in Norfolk, England. One of the photographs here shows Roy Davenport on the left and Tony Middleton on the right.

In 2016 a Cambridge magician and family friend, Tony Middleton, took an existing automaton of Snow White, which was part of the Davenport family collection, and converted it to this gypsy with a plasma ball. The original age of the electrically operated figure is not known, but is probably mid to late 20th century. One photograph shows Tony Middleton with the figure.

This amazing battery operated automaton is one of four butterfly species which were available in the Butterfly Collection (TM). When the top of the jar is tapped the butterfly flutters around the jar in a very lifelike manner. Made in China for ROOT7, www.root7.com. Copyright 2010 ROOT7. The automaton was on sale in the UK through Grand Illusions.

The demon moves its arms, eyes and eyebrows while the lights flash on and off. There is no evidence that this figure was ever in a Davenport shop window. It was found in very poor condition by John Davenport in a Davenport store and was renovated by Tony Middleton, who may be seen in one of the images. The motor is 120 volts and the figure may well have been made in Germany.

The figure moves its arms, eyes, eyebrows and mouth. The index finger on the right hand taps the window pane to attract the attention of passers by. According to Wynne Davenport this figure was definitely in a Davenport shop window. She told the story that a policemean came into the shop requesting that the figure was unplugged because so many prople had gathered on the pavement that it was causing an obstruction. Many years later it was found in very poor condition by John Davenport in a Davenport store and was renovated by Tony Middleton, who may be seen in one of the images. The motor is 120 volts and the figure may well have been made in Germany. It is not known how the figure was originally dressed. It is possible that it was designed to smoke a pipe, which would be consistent with the mouth movements.

This item, probably from the 1930s, consists of a light bulb resting on a piece of wood which is itself supported by three columns of glass. The question is how can the bulb be shining when there is apparently no way for electricity to reach it? This was renovated in the 1970s and electronics fitted so that the frequency of flashing of the light could be changed. The window display was used to advertise a 1978 Pentacle Club magic show in Cambridge.

This is an electrically powered automaton. A card magically rises out of the pack while the demon waves the long pole around to show that there are no wires holding it in space. The card then descends back to the pack and the cycle repeats. The automaton was not in working order until Cambridge magician and engineer Tony Middleton repaired and upgraded it in 2014-2016. The original age of the automaton is probably mid 20th century. We do not know if the automaton was ever on display at Davenports shop.