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

Wooden box items

Wooden box containing a collection of mainly Egyptian Hall items

Wooden box containing a collection of mainly Egyptian Hall items

We don’t know who collected the items in this box, nor when they became part of the Davenport Collection. By the late 20th century there were no magic related items inside the box; such items may well have been sold long before. Anyone interested in viewing all the items that remained can do so by clicking on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’. The box also contained old newspaper pages (dated 1899 or 1900) which appear to have been used as dividers for the box contents. These notes tell us that at one time the box may have contained items on theatrical shows, menageries, fantoccini, marionettes, monstrosities and curious exhibitions.

Items relating to Albert Smith including his ‘Ascent of Mont Blanc’ at the Egyptian Hall

Items relating to Albert Smith including his ‘Ascent of Mont Blanc’ at the Egyptian Hall

One item is a summary of his life from the time when he abandoned his father’s wish that he should become a surgeon, to his successful literary, lecturing and performing career. Some of the other newspaper cuttings describe how his Ascent of Mont Blanc performances developed over time. The print illustrated is from an unknown newspaper hand dated 4 October 1852. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

Albert Smith’s entertainment at the Egyptian Hall recalled

Albert Smith’s entertainment at the Egyptian Hall recalled

This print from a newspaper hand dated 5 May 1873 shows the Blue Grotto at Capri, recently visited by the Duke of Edinburgh and his fiancee. The accompanying newspaper cutting recalls how Albert Smith described the grotto in his entertainment. The date and source of the item including a print of bearded Albert Smith are unknown. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

Miss Emma Stanley who performed at the Egyptian Hall in 1860

Miss Emma Stanley who performed at the Egyptian Hall in 1860

Two press cuttings concern her 1860 Egyptian Hall appearances. The longest cutting from the ‘Era’ dated 17 December 1881 is her obituary. Miss Emma Stanley was a talented, versatile entertainer who had huge success touring her entertainment ‘The Seven Ages of Woman’, a show which she performed around the world. The items shown here were assembled on a piece of card by an unknown collector. The programme for ‘The Seven Ages of Woman’ is from the Assembly Rooms, Seaford for the night of 20 August 1873. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

Blind Tom, the Musical Prodigy, who performed at the Egyptian Hall in 1866

Blind Tom, the Musical Prodigy, who performed at the Egyptian Hall in 1866

Blind Tom is an extraordinary character, even by Egyptian Hall standards. He has his own Wikipedia page which tells us that he was an American musical prodigy on the piano. He had numerous original compositions published and had a lengthy and largely successful performing career throughout the United States. During the 19th century, he was one of the best-known American performing pianists and one of the best-known African-American musicians. Although he lived and died before autism was described, he is now regarded as an autistic savant. During his European tour he performed at the Egyptian Hall. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

The Rock Harmonicon exhibited at the Egyptian Hall, 1845

The Rock Harmonicon exhibited at the Egyptian Hall, 1845

The small cutting confirms that the Rock Harmonicon was exhibited by Messrs Richardson and Sons at the Egyptian Hall in 1845. The large cutting tells the story of the harmonicon and confirms that, at the time of the article, it was exhibiting in Stanley’s Rooms, 21 Old Bond Street. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

Egyptian Hall exhibition of Szentpetery’s Embossed Tableau

Egyptian Hall exhibition of Szentpetery’s Embossed Tableau

The embossed tableau was executed in copper. The image was taken from the picture of ‘The Battle of Arbela’ painted by Le Brun. We are told ‘the plate of copper from which this work is produced by the aid of the puncheon and hammer alone, consists of a single sheet, not more than one sixteenth part of an inch in thickness. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

The American Mammoth Ox, Brother Jonathan, exhibited at the Egyptian Hall, 1839

The American Mammoth Ox, Brother Jonathan, exhibited at the Egyptian Hall, 1839

Brother Jonathan, bred in New Hampshire, USA, was said to weigh 4,000 pound (500 stone) and measure almost 12 feet from nose to rump. He had a busy day, being exhibited from 9am to 9pm. The clip from the ‘Weekly Despatch’ is quite amusing. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

Newspaper article about state coaches mentioning the Egyptian Hall and Napoleon’s coach

Newspaper article about state coaches mentioning the Egyptian Hall and Napoleon’s coach

This article in an unknown newspaper, but possibly the ‘Daily Telegraph’, is hand dated 2 October 1883. It discusses the stories relating to a number of coaches, including the one exhibited by Mr Bullock at what became the Egyptian Hall. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

‘An Account of the Family of Laplanders’ exhibited at the Egyptian Hall in 1822

‘An Account of the Family of Laplanders’ exhibited at the Egyptian Hall in 1822

This 34 page booklet describes the life of the Laplanders exhibited by Mr. W. Bullock. The exhibition included a herd of living reindeer and a panoramic view of the North Cape. The booklet was printed for W. Bullock. No date is given but 1822 is most likely. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

Poster for Mr. Arthur Sketchley at the Egyptian Hall in “Mrs. Brown at Home and Abroad”. 1866

Poster for Mr. Arthur Sketchley at the Egyptian Hall in “Mrs. Brown at Home and Abroad”. 1866

Arthur Sketchley (real name George Rose) was a journalist and a very popular Victorian entertainer with his humour and impersonations. Mrs. Brown’s exploits were very popular at the Egyptian Hall and also spawned a range of books covering topics from her views on Cleopatra’s Needle to her travels around the world. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.

The Tyrolese Minstrels at the Egyptian Hall in 1827, and the St. James’s Theatre in 1851

The Tyrolese Minstrels at the Egyptian Hall in 1827, and the St. James’s Theatre in 1851

The more detailed of the two prints is linked with their performances in 1851. It is said to be from ‘The Illustrated London News’, 6 December 1851. The simpler print is from an unknown newspaper but the adjacent cutting is hand dated 1827. The Tyrolese Minstrels toured widely and were well respected. This is one of the items contained in a wooden box of 19th century ephemera, mainly relating to the Egyptian Hall. To view all the items from the box, click on View Details and then the Key Phrase ‘Wooden box items’.