These seals were found with an advertising leaflet put out by W.R.F. Avery & Co. There are two types of seal, both with the Davenport Demon Series logo in the middle. One had ‘Sugared Almonds Samples’ around the edge, the other ‘Eau de Cologne The Mark of Quality’. We do not know if these seals were samples from Avery, or whether Davenports actually used them on joke products. Either way, it seems likely that Davenports purchased their seals from Avery.

The Avery leaflet is illustrated in View Details. Its purpose was to encourage customers to purchase seals commemorating the coronation of King Edward VIII, which was scheduled for 11 May 1937. Examples of such seals are shown on page 3 of the leaflet. In fact the King abdicated in December 1936, so there was no coronation for him.

The Daily Star is a red top tabloid. In March 2021 the Ever Given container ship became stuck in the Suez Canal causing huge disruption to the world’s shipping. Uri Geller spotted a publicity opportunity and the headline of the Daily Star was “Help It Round The Bend: spoon botherer Uri Geller needs you – at exactly 11.11am – to use the power of your mind to get this bloody ship shifted. .” The article on page 5, also illustrated, shows that Geller had doubled his chance of success by saying he wanted everyone to visualise the ship moving at 11.11am and 11.11pm today. Unfortunately mind power did not do the trick.

We know that this photograph was taken at the 1915 B.I.F. because The Toy Trader and Exporter of Thursday 3 May 1951 published it as part of a look-back to the first B.I.F. at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington. Lewis Davenport is sitting within the stand. We do not know who the lady is. Hanging from the corner column of the stand are several catalogues with the Union Jack on the cover. This catalogue, item N1559, which is also illustrated here, shows that the flag was printed in colour and the message on the cover ‘All British Catalogue’ is entirely appropriate for the Fair. However, from the contents of the catalogue, it is doubtful that the message is entirely true.

To our knowledge the contents of this partnership agreement have remained confidential until now. The parties to the agreement were J.N. and Nevil Maskelyne (the Maskelynes) and David Devant. Devant was managing partner. The Maskelyne and Cooke Provincial Company made annual tours of Great Britain from 1899 to 1905. The Entertainment Bureau supplied high class entertainments for many years. There is much of interest in the partnership agreement and Anne’s article is a useful summary.

This charming presentation signed by the members of the company accompanied the gift of a Dressing Case. Research in recent decades has pointed towards their daughter Vida Mary Heather being adopted by the Devants. This might explain the wording ‘congratulations on the recent advent of your daughter’. There is no mention of the birth of Vida.