The magician Paula Baird clearly put a great deal of effort into gathering and collating this collection. Although unrelated to magic, the fact that Paula collected these items gives a private glimpse into the personality of one of the most successful British female magicians of her day. She was a lovely lady and a good friend of the Davenports.
At The Magic Circle Collectors’ Day in 1996 there was a sale of some of Tommy Cooper’s possessions. The proceeds went to The Magic Circle Headquarters Fund and the Grand Order of Water Rats. This pack consists of several items: a walkerprint postcard with Tommy’s caricature, a Tommy Cooper stamp, a card trick, and a ball point pen which has on it a caricature of Tommy and the words STOLEN FROM TOMMY COOPER.
In 1926 Lewis Davenport, his wife Wynne and children Gus and Wyn toured South African theatres. They travelled there and back on R.M.S. Arundel Castle. These souvenirs made of electroplated nickel silver (EPNS) would come from this trip. The postcard showing the steamer is from the same period, no doubt also collected on the trip.
A member of the audience places a marked coin in the plug box, from which it vanishes. The coin can then be found in any desired place. Once the possession of Cambridge magician Claude Perry.
A souvenir item from the well-known German magician Kalanag (Helmut Schreiber). Much information on Kalanag (1903-1963) is available on the web. The manufacturer of the badge is B.H. Mayer of Pforzheim: their name is on the reverse side of the badge.
This stamp came into the Davenport Collection when Davenports bought Goldston’s business in the 1940s.
The spools are of various sizes for 9.5mm and 16mm film. Over the years, the film has been transferred to larger spools. Most has now been transferred to magnetic tape and then to DVDs or a digital format. Around the time of the Davenport centenary celebrations in 1998 Davenports sold copies of a VHS tape ‘The Davenport Archive Film – Volume 3’ which contained much of the most interesting footage.
This was the projector used by the Davenport family to show various cine films of family members, friends and magicians. The films were mainly taken in the 1930s. It was made in Switzerland and operated on 110 volts. For use in the United Kingdom a rheostat (the variable resistor shown in the photograph) was necessary to step the mains voltage down from 240 to 110 volts. It was easy to get an electric shock off the rheostat – it would not be allowed today. The design of the projector was clever in that simply by changing some of the fittings it was possible to show both 9.5mm and 16mm film.
This was used by the Davenport family. It was manufactured by ‘His Master’s Voice’.
Gus and John Davenport built an OO gauge model railway in the 1960s. Once built, they tired of watching the trains go round, and so looked for other things to add to the layout. On one side of the layout was a cliff covered in nothing other than clumps of grass on the cliff face. This seemed the ideal spot to build a funicular, and that is what they did. I have included it on this website for personal reasons, and on the basis that a home made funicular is certainly a novelty! A film of the layout made by magician Harry Baron is also in the collection.