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

Miscellaneous

The Academy of Magical Arts Lifetime Achievement to the Davenport Family

The Academy of Magical Arts Lifetime Achievement to the Davenport Family

The Davenport Family would like to record our grateful thanks for the honour of being selected by the Magic Castle Board of Trustees as the recipient of the 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award. The Award recognises the family’s contribution to keeping magic alive in England and beyond over parts of three centuries. Lewis Davenport started it all, with help from his mother in the early days of growing his magic business. So, it’s probably fair to say that five generations of the family have done their best to keep magic alive. We greatly appreciate the award.

Receipted invoice from Henry Bate to Devant, 1903

Receipted invoice from Henry Bate to Devant, 1903

Henry Bate, David Devant’s illusion builder, charged him for work on the Barrel Illusion which Bate had to ship to Glasgow. At the time Devant was performing in Glasgow with the Maskelyne and Cooke Mysteries Provincial Company. Note the wide range of business activities listed by Bate in the top left corner of his letterhead.

Greetings card reproduction of Pepper at the Polytechnic

Greetings card reproduction of Pepper at the Polytechnic

This is a reproduction of a Polytechnic handbill for Pepper’s Ghost Christmas Show in 1889. The inside of the card contains the message: With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from the National Fairground Archive. The Archive purchased the original handbill in 2006.

Louis Nikola booking through the Maskelynes’ Entertainment Agency, 1933

Louis Nikola booking through the Maskelynes’ Entertainment Agency, 1933

The letters illustrated here record that Maskelynes’ Entertainment Agency booked Nikola for a show at Holborn Hall, Gray’s Inn Road, London on 25 January 1933. The event was a New Year’s Party and Dance for Sanders Sports and Social Club. The fee was 5 guineas (£5. 5. 0. in pre-decimal money). The Agency took 15% commission on the booking. Note that the fee was paid to the Agency prior to the date of the show.

De Biere pamphlet for St. George’s Hall, 1919

De Biere pamphlet for St. George’s Hall, 1919

The cover announces De Biere’s stay at the Maskelyne Theatre of Mystery (St. George’s Hall) for eight weeks from 20 October to 19 December 1919. Arnold De Biere was a successful magician whose skills were also greatly appreciated by his peers. This impressive full colour 16 page pamphlet would have been expensive to produce, but it suited his high class image. Click on Details to access a PDF showing the whole brochure with all of the colour images of De Biere in different guises. This is one not to miss.