The Davenport family used the name Maskelyne’s Mysteries for their range of magic sets following their purchase of the Maskelyne’s business assets in 1935. In the 1950s Gus Davenport supplied BR Robin with magic sets which were advertised to the wholesale market. See the advertisement illustrated. The red paper on this box was typically used for the Robin’s boxes. Later these boxes were sold by Robin’s, a partnership between Gus Davenport and Maureen Robin.

This is an upmarket red padded box with silver print, full of good quality close-up items. When Davenports put this out in the 1930s, close-up tricks were called pocket tricks. It is a rare example of a collection of magic tricks for adults rather than children.

The concept for this box is novel, but perhaps not practical because the coins tend to slide out of their locations when the cardboard coin is held vertically. Davenports put this on the market in the 1930s and advertised it in their catalogues for four shillings – see illustration.

Goldston advertised magic sets with this label during the 1920s. They were sold at different values depending on the contents. The illustrated advertisement is from the programme for a charity matinee at the Finsbury Park Empire organised by Will Goldston on 19 March 1920. A later advertisement, from 1927, advertised seven boxes in this range from 5/- to 105/- post paid.

This was a free gift received at the 5th European Magic History Conference, Hamburg 2013. Provided by Hanky Panky It’s Magic, it was originally produced for the 25th FISM in Blackpool, 2012. Made by Hanky Panky Toys (Thailand) Co Ltd.