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

Transpositions

The Professor Whyley Cigarette Packet

The Professor Whyley Cigarette Packet

A number of tricks are possible with these packets which were sold in pairs. For example, the performer holds a packet upright and drops a sixpenny piece into it. The packet can immediately be shown to be empty, although the coin can be produced again from the packet at any time. Another trick described in the instructions involves the use of both packets.

Coin Stitch

Coin Stitch

This is a U.F. Grant creation. The English Rights were held by Davenports. The effect is that a spectator hands the magician a marked coin, which is dropped into a small envelope. The spectator then pockets the envelope. The magician next shows two small cards which have been stitched together, before vanishing them by any favourite method. When the spectator takes the envelope from their pocket, they find the stitched cards inside it. The cards have to be torn apart and, inside, is the spectator’s coin. The Davenports advertisement for Coin Stitch is also illustrated, as drawn by Laurie who produced so much artwork for Davenports. Complete with instructions.

Edward Bagshawe’s Invisible Tie Transit

Edward Bagshawe’s Invisible Tie Transit

The magician introduces a box wrapped up in paper and shows that it contains six different coloured ties. Separately, the magician shows a stiff collar. A spectator selects a coloured tie by choosing one of six cards. When the collar is displayed again, the selected colour is seen to be tied around it. Complete with instructions, although the apparatus does not fully match the description. It is likely that this item has survived in the collection because it was a faulty model which could not therefore be sold.

Tonny Van Dommelen’s “Dizzy Domino’s”

Tonny Van Dommelen’s “Dizzy Domino’s”

This is a dizzying routine in which double-five and double-two dominoes change places. Complete with instructions copyright Harry Stanley “Unique Magic Studio”, London. Unfortunately many of the white dots are missing from this set of dominoes.

Cricket Bat Trick

Cricket Bat Trick

This clever little trick is of the paddle variety. When you place a small wooden peg through one of the holes in the bat, it magically jumps to another hole. According to Davenports instructions, this trick was made in Germany in 1938 and there is no reason to disbelieve this. Bats like this one were still being sold by Davenports in the 1990s. This particular bat, with photocopied instructions, comes from 1994.

‘The New Penny Express’ by Ali Bongo

‘The New Penny Express’ by Ali Bongo

The apparatus includes two coloured handkerchiefs with rings on the corners. By placing the rings of the red handkerchief over the red rod, the handkerchief becomes a bag which is given to one volunteer to hold on the end of the rod. Another volunteer holds the yellow rod with the yellow bag on the other side of the stage. The plot is simple: six coins are placed in each bag and magically three transfer from one bag to the other. These words do not do justice to the entertainment value that can be derived by a skilled children’s entertainer. Sold by Ken Brooke’s Magic Place. Complete with instructions which are full of bits of business.

Signed card in wallet trick

Signed card in wallet trick

A spectator selects a card from the pack, signs it and puts it back in the pack. After some usually humorous byplay, the magician takes out his wallet and finds the signed card zipped up in the inner compartment. Unknown supplier.

Orrin’s ‘Uplift’

Orrin’s ‘Uplift’

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.

Perfect Crime from Mark Leveridge

Perfect Crime from Mark Leveridge

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!

Fantasia: stage version of a Blue Phantom type of checker trick

Fantasia: stage version of a Blue Phantom type of checker trick

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.

Colour changing pencils

Colour changing pencils

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.