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

2022

Richard Wiseman’s Wizard Book Test

Richard Wiseman’s Wizard Book Test

Magicians love to divine a word chosen by a spectator from a book. This is an entertaining, simple, direct book test which is up there with the best of them. According to Richard, the miracle depends on a psychological principle known as inattentional blindness. Complete with instructions. This was a gift from Richard Wiseman in 2022.

Davenport Collection website e-news #16, December 2022

Davenport Collection website e-news #16, December 2022

Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.

E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.

The December 2022 issue included:
– Update on the Davenport Film Collection, including the 1936 Munich convention and Cardini.
– Update on the Davenport Collection Instagram site.
– The Demon Cannon Detector.
– The “Red Hot” Ball.
– The Season’s Greetings from David Devant: a card collection.
– David Devant and the early days of cinema.
– Lewis Davenport’s early performing days.
– The Demon Rod and Beads

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.

Novelty wooden apple containing a ‘hidden’ drawer

Novelty wooden apple containing a ‘hidden’ drawer

The novelty of the apple is the way in which the drawer opens, and the mechanism which keeps the drawer closed. To open it, pull on the leather stalk and the drawer pops open, aided by a small spring at its back. When the drawer is pushed back into the apple, it has to be pushed past a small spring loaded wedge which then clicks back into position to hold the drawer in. The act of pulling on the stalk lifts the wedge out of the way, so allowing the drawer to open. The apple is beautifully made by Dave Barber in Pershore, England.

Banner advertising the Marvels of Mystery touring show 2021-2022

Banner advertising the Marvels of Mystery touring show 2021-2022

The show played various dates around the UK in 2021 and 2022. The show featured four magicians from The Magic Circle: Megan Swann, Danny Lee Grew, Dean Leavy and either Scott Penrose or Lance Corporal Richard Jones. Scott had recently located and renovated an early copy of Psycho and this was featured in his act. John Davenport caught the show when it appeared at The Commemoration Hall in Huntingdon on 23 October 2021.

Davenport Collection website e-news #14, June 2022

Davenport Collection website e-news #14, June 2022

Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.
E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.
The June 2022 issue included:
– more on David Devant’s early career.
– Uri Geller and mind power.
– Sakkaku Scale by Tenyo – a magical optical illusion.
– create wooden Japanese furniture by taking a block of wood to pieces. It’s a puzzle putting it together again.
– the link between World War II gas masks and Davenports conjurers’ wax.
– the Old and the New Magic: a look at Davenports 1956 catalogue.

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.

Publicity roundel for JezO (Jeremy Bond), comedy magician

Publicity roundel for JezO (Jeremy Bond), comedy magician

Jez Bond is an award winning magician whose style combines high-energy magic and illusion with zany comedy. At the Blackpool Convention in March 2022 he won the competition for Family Entertainer of the Year. Jez is based in the Cambridge area but travels widely for shows and pantomime.

Davenport Collection website e-news #13, March 2022

Davenport Collection website e-news #13, March 2022

Click on Details if you would like to download a PDF of this e-news.
E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.
The March 2022 issue included:
– the launch of the Films Category and the Davenport Film Collection YouTube Channel.
– Ali Bongo version of the Gozinta Box with a double load.
– “Humpty Dumpty” children’s paper tearing trick.
– Devant’s early performing career.
– the staying power of traditional toys and novelties.
– “Shanroy” Scenery from The Servais Le Roy Company.
– an 1889 letter from J.N. Maskelyne and an unresolved issue

To see all the other e-news, click on Website e-news.

David Devant’s first big illusion: Vice Versa

David Devant’s first big illusion: Vice Versa

Many entertainers have financial difficulties in their early careers. David Devant wrote about his early struggles in My Magic Life.

In December 1892 he put on a show at Balham Hall. The show made a loss, but it turned out to be an important step in securing a place for him in Maskelyne & Cooke’s theatre at the Egyptian Hall. He used the show to showcase his new stage illusion, Vice Versa. The illusion caught the eye of the Crystal Palace management, and before long Devant had secured a booking at the Egyptian Hall. However, Vice Versa was too large for the Egyptian Hall stage. J.N. Maskelyne asked Devant to come up with something more suitable. The result was The Artist’s Dream, based on the same principle as Vice Versa.

Anne draws on previously unpublished material which allows the fascinating details of the story to be told.