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

1982

Film of Cecil Lyle’s Chocolate Box Illusion

Film of Cecil Lyle’s Chocolate Box Illusion

This is a showy illusion in which a giant chocolate box is shown first empty, then full of giant chocolates. The box is closed again and, when reopened, there is a lady inside. Photographs of the illusion and background details have been on the Davenport Collection website for some time (N826). We can now share an AI enhanced video of a performance at the 1982 Pentacle Club Convention. The performer is John Whitmore, assisted by Chris Kostecki and Teresa Wallman. John and Chris were both members of the Cambridge Pentacle Magic Club.

Demon glass commissioned by John and Anne Davenport

Demon glass commissioned by John and Anne Davenport

In 1982 John and Anne had seven glasses engraved with a demon’s head, based on one of the Davenport demon trademarks. They were to give to people who had been particularly helpful with our researches into the story of the Davenport family. We kept one glass and the others went to Harry Carson, Frank Lane, Peter Lane, Billy McComb, Richard Stupple and Peter Warlock. On the bottom of each glass is engraved ‘CJF Gould 82 Cambs’. CJF Gould was a glass engraver who lived in Fen Ditton near Cambridge.

Tron 3D Light Disc from Loncraine Broxton, England

Tron 3D Light Disc from Loncraine Broxton, England

The disc has a small ball bearing in the centre of its base. When the disc is spun on a flat surface it therefore spins for a very long time, creating amazing optical images as the prismatic material on the surface catches the light at different angles. With a bright light shining on the spinning disc from one direction a 3D effect is created. Made in England.

Peter Warlock painting – trompe l’oeil letter holder

Peter Warlock painting – trompe l’oeil letter holder

Painted on board by Peter Warlock in 1982. John and Anne Davenport asked Peter to paint this on the theme of items relating to the Davenport family and business. It includes ‘Enchanted Petals, a floral mystery’, an effect that Peter devised and which was marketed by Davenports. Peter’s signature can be seen in the bottom right hand corner on a Magic Circle card.