This was probably the label for a Davenports magic set put out in the 1920s. We believe that Lewis Davenport started using the Demon Series trade name in the early 1920s. From 1935 Davenports were in a position to use the name Maskelyne Mysteries, having purchased the assets of the Maskelynes business.
The envelope contained three items, one of which was The Lovers Puzzle, as illustrated. Davenports introduced the Wonder Packet in the mid-1910s and advertised it for many years.
Date unknown, but possibly 1920s or 1930s.
This was found in a Davenport storeroom, unfortunately with no contents. Date is uncertain, but it could well be a set put out by Davenports before they started using the name Maskelyne Mysteries for their sets once they purchased the assets of the Maskelyne business in 1935.
This magic set was another one supplied by Davenports to Gamages. The inside lid uses the Maskelyne’s name, so the date of the box is certainly later than 1935. Judging from its construction it is probably post-war. The box was found in a Davenport storeroom , but with no contents.
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.
Trade Mark Hokus Pokus. Made by J.W.S. & S. Bavaria. Many of the contents have never been removed from their wrapping. Supplied by Spear & Son, Nürnberg. The instructions have the logo of Carl Baudenbacher of Nürnberg. Spear took over the Baudenbacher business in the early 1900s.
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.
These instructions were meant for a range of magic sets, because they make it clear that “this sheet contains directions for every trick in this box, but the box does not contain all tricks described”. The instructions are in English and were printed in Bavaria where Spear was based. The date will be early 20th century.
These instructions are similar to those for a box of Conjuring Tricks made by JW Spear & Sons in Bavaria – see Ref. no. N1223. Note that the last page of the instructions, illustrated, has the amusing bookplate of the Clinton Burgess Magical Reference Library, New York, stuck on it.