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

Transformations

Leat’s Supernatural Silk trick

Leat’s Supernatural Silk trick

You show an illustrated silk that is not faked in any way and then – by pulling it through a borrowed ring – find that the illustration has changed to an entirely different one. The second image here shows how the illustration has changed. This is a clever idea and the illustrated advertisement includes a patter story from Leat. The advertisement is from Leat’s Leaflets No.30, September 1933. In order not to give the secret away in the advertisement, note that Leat has used a very different image for the transformed figure.

Ribbons to Sausages

Ribbons to Sausages

This is a magical gag rather than a deeply mysterious trick. A number of ribbons are shown and they suddenly turn into a string of sausages. Despite being a strange plot, or perhaps because of it, ribbons to sausages usually causes a big laugh, as the advertisement promises.

The “So-Long” Ribbon

The “So-Long” Ribbon

This idea by Allan Lambie was sold by Davenports with instructions copyright L. Davenport & Co. They also called it The Invisible Birth of a Flower. The effect is that a length of ribbon about three feet long attached to a circular tag is shown freely. Then instantly, without covering in any way, it transforms itself into a flower which the performer places in his button-hole.

“Out to Lunch” by Bob Ellis and Clare Cummings

“Out to Lunch” by Bob Ellis and Clare Cummings

The basic plot is that a spectator signs a card which shows a boy climbing up the rope. However, when the spectator next looks at the card the boy has vanished, to be replaced by a sign saying OUT TO LUNCH. The cards are missing, but the instructions give a price of 3s 6d for purchasing additional cards. Although the manufacturer is not known, it is likely to be a UK firm given the mention of UK money. See N3116 for a Davenports Demon Series version of the same trick.

Matchbox to Candle transformation

Matchbox to Candle transformation

This amazing piece of apparatus can be used to transform a box of matches into a candle. Nothing is added or taken away. The trick is advertised in a Harry Leat catalogue from the 1930s, as illustrated here.

Penny and Match Box Trick

Penny and Match Box Trick

The date on the penny is 1929, so the date cannot be earlier than this. A penny is placed on the table and covered with the inside drawer of a borrowed match box. When the drawer is lifted, the penny has changed into a two shilling piece.

Penny to Sovereign

Penny to Sovereign

The magician shows a handkerchief and then finds a penny in his pocket, which is placed under the handkerchief. After the necessary magic words, the handkerchief is lifted to show that the penny has vanished, to be replaced by the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II.

Davenport’s Improved Kunard’s Coins Trick

Davenport’s Improved Kunard’s Coins Trick

This is a well made pocket trick from the 1940s. The magician shows a threepenny bit which is resting on a small wooden block. When the magician passes a second wooden block over the coin, it mysteriously changes to a farthing. The block is again passed over the coin and it becomes a sixpence. Finally this coin vanishes. The blocks may be examined. Complete with instructions. Another example is N2405.

Copper to Gold

Copper to Gold

The basic trick is that a penny changes into a golden coin which has a hole in the middle. Complete with instructions.

Coin Stack, including a Gus Davenport routine

Coin Stack, including a Gus Davenport routine

This coin stack is from The Kaymar Magic Co. in Billericay, England. It was a gift from Harry Baron, the owner, to John Davenport in 1986. Six tenpenny pieces are placed in a stack on the back of a spectator’s hand, and then covered with the tray from a matchbox. The cover is lifted, the tenpenny pieces have vanished, and in their place is a stack of pound coins. Complete with instructions which give a routine by Harry Baron. The instructions also include a routine by Gus Davenport who was a very good friend of Harry. Harry explains that Gus made quite a cameo out of this trick in the earlier days when people were familiar with collar studs that men had in their collars. Gus would patter about Lord Derby, a famous racehorse owner of the time, who was also an inveterate one for making wagers. The story is that he was induced to wager his valuable Stud of horses on a certain race. The stake of cash was put up (represented by the stack of coins). However the culmination of the proceedings was that the gambler lost his money and Lord Derby still had his “STUD” . . . at which point the matchbox is lifted to show that the coins have vanished leaving a STUD in their place.

The New Order

The New Order

In this paper tearing trick, the symbols of Germany and Japan are torn up and the magician does not restore them, but magically converts them to a paper sign saying LEND TO DEFEND THE RIGHT. This message refers to buying Defence Bonds to support the WW2 war effort. Complete with instructions.