Davenports put this out under the Maskelyne’s Mysteries banner. Note LD & Co. is mentioned on the front. Inside is a large sheet of paper containing full size diagrams and instructions to make up this apparatus trick. The illustrated advertisement from 1935 explains what the audience see.
A large vase, complete with firebowl at the top, appears suddenly on a table. Made in Germany, probably by Willmann.
This was a one-off prop made for use in a Maskelyne sketch. The Maskelyne’s Christmas 1933 season at the Little Theatre included an item called: We’ve been to a shop. It took the form of words sung to the tune of ‘Here we come gathering nuts in May’ and was illustrated with conjuring tricks. The Christmas pudding was magically produced during the final verse of the song. The original script for this show is in the Davenport Collection.
Davenports sold this chrome plated champagne bucket under the name of the ‘Demon Coin Act’ in the 1950s. The magician uses it to produce coins singly or even in cascades. The Davenport advertisement says that the bucket was made by Max Andrews’ “Vampire” brand.
Rice is poured into one can and, using the other empty can, the quantity of rice magically doubles. The rice is then leveled off, the can is covered with paper, a hole is punched in the paper, and silk handkerchiefs are produced from the can. Complete with instructions.
This nickel plated box is shown empty and then a number of handkerchiefs are produced from it. This was a very popular trick first marketed by Davenports in 1934. The inside lid of the box is stamped with the Davenports demon head logo and the registered design number: 791997. Davenports purchased the UK rights from Janos Bartl in Germany, who invented the trick. Bartl sold the trick under the name ‘Silkwonder’.
The nickel plated brass cannon ball forms part of a production from a hat. Unusually for apparatus of this era, the inside of the cannon ball carries a metal plate telling us that it is from C. DE VERE, Manufacturer, The Magical Repository, 295 Strand, London. De Vere had his shop at this address at some point in the 1870s. Although De Vere supplied the cannon ball, it may well have been manufactured by another company.
The magician makes a fire in the pan. When the lid is removed a bird has appeared inside. The dove pan is stamped DEMON. Although sold by Davenports, the dove pans were made by Burtini, a UK magic dealer well known for manufacturing top quality metal work. Davenports later bought Burtini’s business.
A signed letter dated 21 July 1984 from Ronald Nesbitt, son of The Great Nesbitt, authenticates that this item sold to Messrs. L. Davenport & Co. was formally the property of the late Chung Ling Soo. It was purchased by The Great Nesbitt in July 1919.