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

1897

Publicity item for David Devant’s Animated Photos. 1897

Publicity item for David Devant’s Animated Photos. 1897

Page 1 mentions the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee which was in June 1897, so the likely date is 1897 or 1898. Pages 2 and 3 are most interesting because they state that Devant has four ‘Cinematographes’: No. 1 is used twice daily at the Egyptian Hall, No. 2 is on tour, No. 3 and No. 4 are for Public or Private Engagements. The names of the operators and others involved in these performances are also given. All the pages are illustrated here. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.

Advertisement from Devant for the sale of seats in Maskelyne’s Grand Stand for the 1897 Diamond Jubilee

Advertisement from Devant for the sale of seats in Maskelyne’s Grand Stand for the 1897 Diamond Jubilee

Devant explains that a member of the Ladies’ Grand Council has suggested that members might like to purchase a block of seats on Mr. Maskelyne’s Grand Pavilion to view the procession for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Along the bottom of the item is an unrelated piece illustrating Devant producing a rabbit on ‘animated photograph’ film. It explains how animated photographs work and acts as an advertisement for Devant’s exhibitions. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.

Devant advertisement for seats in the Royal Horse Guards Pavilion for The Diamond Jubilee, 1897.

Devant advertisement for seats in the Royal Horse Guards Pavilion for The Diamond Jubilee, 1897.

It is well known that Devant tried to sell seats in Maskelyne’s Grand Stand at St. Paul’s for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession on 22 June 1897, for example, see Ref. no. N2082. However, this is the only evidence that I have seen for Devant selling seats in the Royal Horse Guards Pavilion in Whitehall, a completely different part of London. The Magic Circle Archive also has a copy of this advertisement.

Devant’s ‘Cinematographe’ and sale of tickets for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession

Devant’s ‘Cinematographe’ and sale of tickets for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession

Devant announces new animated photographs for his ‘Cinematographe’. He also explains that to ensure he is able to obtain good pictures of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee procession on 22 June 1897, he has 140 seats for disposal on Mr. Maskelyne’s Grand Stand. The fascinating story of Maskelyne’s Grand Stand can be found in ‘John Nevil Maskelyne’s Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee speculation‘ by Dr Edwin A Dawes on this website. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.

Maskelyne and Cooke programme for the Egyptian Hall, 24th consecutive year

Maskelyne and Cooke programme for the Egyptian Hall, 24th consecutive year

24th consecutive year, 1896-1897. According to the book on the Egyptian Hall by George Jenness, the Christmas programme started on 22 December 1896, and included ‘Chameleon’ for the first time. The earliest date for this programme is therefore 22 December 1896. This is consistent with the hand written date on page 1 of ‘Monday afternoon, 22 February 1897’. On this programme the person playing Chameleon is Miss A. Hansard. Programme Ref. no. N2068 has identical wording but for the fact that Chameleon is played by Miss Marion Melville.

John Nevil Maskelyne’s Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee speculation

John Nevil Maskelyne’s Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee speculation

1897 was the 60th year of Queen Victoria’s reign. There were to be Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and Maskelyne saw an opportunity to make a good profit by building a Grand Pavilion with a view of the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where the ceremony was to take place. Unfortunately, the speculation did not turn out well. Dr Dawes draws on many sources to tell this story. We meet David Devant and Douglas Beaufort and learn about some rather surprising litigation that resulted from Maskelyne’s initiative.