There is a removeable plug in the top of the red block. The magician removes this and places inside a small object, such as a ring, which a spectator provides. The blocks are stacked up with the red one on the bottom. The stack is then covered with the blue tube. The first surprise is that, when the tube is removed, the red block has climbed to the middle. The magician highlights this by showing all blocks separately. The blocks are reassembled, still with the red block in the centre, and the blue tube placed over the stack. When the tube is lifted the red block is now seen to be at the top. The plug at the top of the block is removed and the borrowed object shown, so proving that the block is the same one that started at the bottom of the stack. Complete with instructions.

The instructions say this is ‘the magical way to “steal” a lady’s valuable ring.’ There are two brass boxes and a lady places her ring in one box and a penny is placed in the other. The contents magically change places and the lady ends up with the penny. An honest magician returns the ring to the lady!

During performance the red and white checkers travel from the middle of the stack to the bottom and then, one at a time, to the top. The composite photograph illustrates this. At every stage the checkers can be removed one by one off the spindle and replaced. We have not seen an advertisement for this trick but have been told that the German magic dealer Conradi Horster sold them in 1934 under the name Fantasia. To protect the secret not all features of the apparatus have been illustrated.

The magician rolls each pencil up in a piece of paper. When they are removed, the red and green pencils have changed places. Once the possession of Cambridge magician Claude Perry.

This is a very high quality set of seven nesting boxes. The inner box is lined with a green velvet like material. The magician vanishes a small item which is then found inside the innermost box. This item belonged to Claude Perry, who died in 2008, and was gifted to the Davenport Collection by David Cridland.

This was a very popular children’s show trick of the ‘turn it around’ variety. The magician makes the black and white rabbits swap places when the painted covers are placed over them. The audience catches on that the rabbits only swap places when the covers are turned around with the rabbits underneath. In time honoured fashion the audience tells the magician to turn the rabbits round when they are not covered up. After the usual byplay the magician turns the rabbits round to reveal a red and a yellow rabbit on the reverse sides. This particular set was used many times by John Davenport. The illustrated advertisement is from a mid 20th century Davenports catalogue.

The trick is to place a silver coin in the box and then magically convert it into liquid silver. The liquid is in fact mercury, hence the name of the box. Do not try this trick!