We know that this photograph was taken at the 1915 B.I.F. because The Toy Trader and Exporter of Thursday 3 May 1951 published it as part of a look-back to the first B.I.F. at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington. Lewis Davenport is sitting within the stand. We do not know who the lady is. Hanging from the corner column of the stand are several catalogues with the Union Jack on the cover. This catalogue, item N1559, which is also illustrated here, shows that the flag was printed in colour and the message on the cover ‘All British Catalogue’ is entirely appropriate for the Fair. However, from the contents of the catalogue, it is doubtful that the message is entirely true.
This is one side of a double sided reproduction of a 1915 publicity promotion for the appearance of Le Roy, Talma and Bosco. The reproduction was provided with the purchase of the Mike Caveney and Bill Rauscher book on Servais Le Roy. The dates of 17 and 18 January 1915 are given on the second side of the poster.
The bill includes The Man of Mystery, De Biere.
The Savage Club was, and in 2020 still is, a gentleman’s club based in London. This item is a copy of the menu card when Devant was presiding. The artwork is signed by Harry May Hemsley. Hemsley knew Devant well and it is worth looking at high magnification at the many amusing sketches that Hemsley has taken from Devant’s supposed life. Devant often used Hemsley to provide him with cartoons which he used for newspaper advertisements. The second illustration, a framed menu card, was on display on the wall at the Savage Club in London in 2019.
This 1915 catalogue includes novelties, jokes, puzzles and magic. The catalogue includes Joke Corsets described as “the latest 1915 joke”. Since Davenports moved from 13 New Oxford Street in August 1915, the date of this catalogue must therefore be 1915.
At first sight, this is the original photograph that was published in the programme for the Tenth Annual Grand Séance of The Magic Circle held on 29 March 1915 at St. George’s Hall. The photograph from the programme, which includes the names of the gentlemen, is also illustrated here. If you look more closely you will see that the photograph from the programme has an extra person added to the far left and the far right.