Put out by Davenports circa 1920s to1930s, the box contained a variety of matchbox jokes and novelties. For example, a matchbox that will not open, one that squeaks when you pick it up, and one containing small coloured wooden blocks from which patterns can be made. Some of the matchboxes have on their labels the demon head trademark of Davenports and the initials LD.

When you try to pick up the cup from the table, the cup doesn’t move but the handle comes away in your fingers. Printed on the base of the cup is ‘Germany DRGM’.

The penny has been expertly modified so that it can be filled with water, which the joker can then squirt out on demand. Both sides of the coin are illustrated.

The coin has been expertly modified so that it can be filled with water, which the joker can then squirt out on demand. Both sides of the coin are illustrated.

The two mechanisms differ in detail. The sparking matchbox joke consists of an innocent looking matchbox inside of which is one of these mechanisms. When wound up with a key and placed on the table, the motor is unable to rotate because there is a protruding piece of metal on the base of the mechanism which, when it comes into contact with the table, is forced against the motor to prevent its movement. As soon as the matchbox is picked up, the motor starts turning and sparks fly out from a flint within the matchbox.