A lithophane is a moulded 3D image in very thin translucent porcelain that can be seen clearly only when back lit with a bright light. The design in the base of this cup looks like a Japanese Geisha Girl. Apparently the characters on the base can be translated as ‘Special Make Japan’.

This is a novelty optical card. When folded in half and held up to the light an unexpected image is seen. It came into the collection as part of the Grand Illusions (www.grand-illusions.com) Christmas Pack 2018/2019.

Professor Kokichi Sugihara of Japan has developed a number of illusions such as this one. The two tubes are joined together. When viewed from one direction you see a square yellow tube and a circular blue one. When you turn the tubes around by 180 degrees, the yellow tube now appears circular and the blue one appears hexagonal. The effect is even more startling if you place a mirror behind the tubes, so you can see both views at once. The item came into the collection as part of the Grand Illusions (www.grand-illusions.com) Christmas Pack 2018/2019.

When a penny is placed in the slot, the rope rises up in the air and a small boy climbs up the rope, before vanishing at the top. It operates on the principle of Pepper’s Ghost. This machine, part of the Davenport Collection, was in extremely poor condition. It was renovated by engineer and magician Tony Middleton of Cambridge, with help from John Davenport and other friends in 2015. The body of the cabinet has a label saying Samson Novelty Co Ltd, London. They were manufacturers of coin operated machines. Tony Middleton is on the right of the photograph and Roy Davenport on the left.