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

1901

Advertisement on silk for Doctor Alfred Berend at the Collegiate Hall, Jamaica, 1901

Advertisement on silk for Doctor Alfred Berend at the Collegiate Hall, Jamaica, 1901

The show involves performing, explaining and exposing many of the stunts performed by named magicians or spiritualists. This gives Berend an excuse for highlighting Maskelyne and Cooke at the Egyptian Hall in London, although his performance has nothing to do with them. No doubt he hoped that use of their names would result in larger audience numbers. With the silk advertisement and the considerable ticket prices, it is clear that Berend was trying to appeal to the better off in Jamaica.

Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries Provincial Tour List 1901-1902, with a separate page of financial details covering all weeks

Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries Provincial Tour List 1901-1902, with a separate page of financial details covering all weeks

These two items were stored together by Maskelynes, with a brass paper fastener attaching them by the top left corner. This explains the holes in the top left corners. The information gives the tour venues and confirms that the show usually spent a week at each venue. The financial summary gives a breakdown of costs for each venue and the average receipts and expenses for the whole tour. The tour usually followed the pre-printed tour dates and venues, but there were exceptions. The images included here show both sides of the Tour List and the single-sided financial summary.

Novelty give away advertisement for Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries at the Antient Concert Rooms, Dublin. Commencing 4 March 1901

Novelty give away advertisement for Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries at the Antient Concert Rooms, Dublin. Commencing 4 March 1901

This advertisement can be folded to show The Box Trick in action. The words explain: ‘The performer enters the box which he completely fills so that no part can collapse inwards. It is then locked, enveloped in a sack, corded and sealed thus preventing any section giving outwards. Yet in a few seconds the gentleman escapes without disturbing a single knot, leaving the box perfectly empty.’

Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries Provincial Tour List 1900-1901, with a separate page of financial details covering all weeks

Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries Provincial Tour List 1900-1901, with a separate page of financial details covering all weeks

These two items were stored together by Maskelynes, with a brass paper fastener attaching them by the top left corner. This explains the holes in the top left corners. The information gives the tour venues and confirms that the show usually spent a week at each venue. The financial summary gives a breakdown of costs for each venue and the average receipts and expenses for the whole tour. The tour usually followed the pre-printed tour dates and venues, but there were exceptions. The images included here show both sides of the Tour List and the single-sided financial summary.

Maskelyne and Cooke Egyptian Hall programme, 28th consecutive year

Maskelyne and Cooke Egyptian Hall programme, 28th consecutive year

28th consecutive year in London, 1900-1901. The bill included Herr Valadon with The Tuppenny Tubes. According to the book by George Jenness on the Egyptian Hall, Valadon introduced this for the Christmas shows starting on 22 December 1900. This is consistent with the hand written date 18 January 1901 on the front page of the programme.

Programme for Maskelyne’s show at the Egyptian Hall, 28th consecutive year

Programme for Maskelyne’s show at the Egyptian Hall, 28th consecutive year

28th consecutive year, 1900-1901. The bill includes the sketch ‘The Entranced Fakir’, the first performance of which was on 6 April 1901, according to the book on the Maskelynes at the Hall by George Jenness. The date must therefore be no earlier than this. It was in ‘The Entranced Fakir’ that Maskelyne first showed his latest, world beating, levitation. Valadon was also on the bill and Animated Photographs were shown. On page 3 of the programme Maskelyne has an article making it clear why he is so annoyed by people who try to imitate his illusions, particularly mentioning his Box Trick and Levitation Mystery. [In his page 3 article JN rather exposes the Aga levitation.] On this programme Mr Nevil Maskelyne plays the part of Fraser in ‘The Entranced Fakir’.

Programme for Maskelyne’s show at the Egyptian Hall, 28th consecutive year

Programme for Maskelyne’s show at the Egyptian Hall, 28th consecutive year

28th consecutive year, 1900-1901. The bill includes the sketch ‘The Entranced Fakir’, the first performance of which was on 6 April 1901, according to the book on the Maskelynes at the Hall by George Jenness. The date must therefore be no earlier than this. It was in ‘The Entranced Fakir’ that Maskelyne first showed his latest, world beating, levitation. Valadon was also on the bill and Animated Photographs were shown. On page 3 of the programme Maskelyne has an article making it clear why he is so annoyed by people who try to imitate his illusions, particularly mentioning his Box Trick and Levitation Mystery. [In his page 3 article JN rather exposes the Aga levitation.] On this programme Mr. E. Morehen plays the part of Fraser in ‘The Entranced Fakir’.

Programme for Maskelyne’s show at the Egyptian Hall, 28th consecutive year

Programme for Maskelyne’s show at the Egyptian Hall, 28th consecutive year

Hand dated 20 April 1901. The bill includes the sketch ‘The Entranced Fakir’, the first performance of which was on 6 April 1901, according to the book on the Maskelynes at the Hall by George Jenness. The date must therefore be no earlier than this, consistent with the hand written date on the programme. It was in ‘The Entranced Fakir’ that Maskelyne first showed his latest, world beating, levitation. Valadon was also on the bill and Animated Photographs were shown, ‘Projected by a New Apparatus, the invention of Mr. Nevil Maskelyne’. On page 3 of the programme Maskelyne has an article making it clear why he is so annoyed by people who try to imitate his illusions, particularly mentioning his Box Trick and Levitation Mystery. [In his page 3 article JN rather exposes the Aga levitation.]

Maskelyne at the Egyptian Hall, ‘Daily Express’, 5 February 1901

Maskelyne at the Egyptian Hall, ‘Daily Express’, 5 February 1901

The first advertisement for Maskelyne highlights the Christmas Holiday Programme. (The Christmas programme usually ran well into the following year.) The second one highlights an animated photograph of the funeral procession of Queen Victoria.
Also advertised are entertainments at the Crystal Palace, London Hippodrome, St. James’ Hall and the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington.