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

2017

52 to 1 Deck by Wayne Fox and David Penn

52 to 1 Deck by Wayne Fox and David Penn

This trick has rightly become very popular. The performer spreads a deck of cards to show they are all different. A spectator is asked to look at and remember just one card. The performer then cuts the pack and only then asks the spectator to name their card. The pack has been cut to the thought of card! The trick can be repeated and it is even possible to allow the spectator to cut the pack. They too cut to their chosen card. The pack includes a link to online instructions.

Trivial Pursuit Coasters

Trivial Pursuit Coasters

In total there are 120 Trivial Pursuit questions. Made by Paladon Products Ltd, Shoreham By Sea, BN43 6NZ, United Kingdom under licence from Hasbro.

Smart Guillotine

Smart Guillotine

The magician invites a spectator to insert her finger into a hole that passes through a transparent frame. The magician then slides a solid blade into the top slot and lowers the blade. Magically, the blade penetrates completely through the spectator’s finger. Magicians have invented numerous guillotine illusions in the past, however none have utilised the principle incorporated in Smart Guillotine. Complete with instructions in Japanese and English.

Noah’s Ark pop-up card

Noah’s Ark pop-up card

This is one of a number of pop-up cards in the collection illustrating how laser cutting technology has allowed designers to create affordable intricate cards. Manufactured by MeandMcQ.

An editor’s lot can be a happy one!

An editor’s lot can be a happy one!

Nobody is better placed than Donald to tell the story of Goodliffe the Magician and the magazine Abracadabra which Goodliffe founded in 1946 – the World’s Only Magical Weekly. Donald was involved with Abra from 1965 for over 40 years, many of those as Managing Editor, so you will also learn about Donald’s life in magic. The talk is full of insight and humour and the story is brought to life with over forty illustrations. Where else will you see Goodliffe with His Holiness Pope Paul V1, or Michael Bailey riding a bicycle?

The Fays: Tragedy and Trials

The Fays: Tragedy and Trials

Alexander and Annie Fay (not Anna Eva Fay), who were performing in the late 1800s, might be all but forgotten today had it not been for their involvement in the Sunderland Victoria Hall Disaster of 1883. Dean explains the events leading up to this tragedy. However, the talk is about much more than this. Through original research, Dean traces the lives of the Fays and on the way we learn much about the performances of the day and the characters whose paths they cross.

Maskelyne & Cooke: the early years

Maskelyne & Cooke: the early years

Anne has unearthed new information on the eight year journey that took Maskelyne and Cooke from Cheltenham to the Egyptian Hall in London. On the way she explains how Maskelyne and Cooke could call themselves Royal Illusionists, despite not having performed before royalty.

Herr Adalbert Frikell His life and times in England 1862 to 1889

Herr Adalbert Frikell His life and times in England 1862 to 1889

The magical career of Herr Adalbert Frikell, the son of Wiljalba Frikell, saw both high spots and low spots. Paul Freeman charts his life from the time he arrived in England, through to the high point of his royal performances, to the lean years and his ultimate death in poverty. Did he commit suicide or was it death by natural causes? Paul’s illustrated talk answers this question and sheds much light on the rise and fall of this talented magician.

Chevalier Ernest Thorn – “King of Illusionists”

Chevalier Ernest Thorn – “King of Illusionists”

Many know the name Chevalier Thorn, but few of us know his story. Paul Freeman’s research has pulled together a revealing picture of the man and his magic. From his birth in 1853 to his death in 1928 there were huge changes in the world of magic. Thorn’s accomplishments contributed to these changes and deserve wider recognition. Paul Freeman’s talk will do much to rectify this. Click here to download the PDF based on his talk.

The Egyptian Hall lives on underneath Hyde Park Corner

The Egyptian Hall lives on underneath Hyde Park Corner

Historians of Victorian entertainment will be familiar with the Egyptian Hall on Piccadilly in London. It served as an entertainment complex until it was demolished in 1905. Less well known is the fact that the Hall has been captured on wall tiles in the Hyde Park Corner pedestrian underpass.

Click below to download the PDF containing John Davenport’s photographs.

The Egyptian House in Penzance

The Egyptian House in Penzance

The Egyptian Hall on Piccadilly in London was probably the best-known example in England of a building in the pseudo ancient Egyptian style. Another was built around 1830 in Penzance in Cornwall. It was a mixture of styles, but the Egyptian influence was clear.

Click below to download the PDF with additional information and John Davenport’s photographs.