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

Conradi Horster

The Conradi Rope Trick

The Conradi Rope Trick

The items supplied allow the magician to perform a convincing rope trick. A long length of rope is genuinely cut in half by a spectator. The magician now ties the two pieces of rope together and trims the loose ends of the knot. With a spectator holding each end of the rope, the magician passes his hand over the knot which immediately vanishes. The spectators can pull on the rope to satisfy themselves that it is once again a single length of rope. Complete with instructions.

Welcome to the 1936 Munich Magic Convention

Welcome to the 1936 Munich Magic Convention

Luckily, the Davenport family is not prone to throwing things away. This allows John Davenport to share something of their attendance at the 19-21 September 1936 Munich Convention. Lewis, Wynne and Gus Davenport travelled to Munich for their first German Magic Circle Convention (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland). It was a good opportunity to meet many continental magic dealers and magicians. John Davenport’s article reproduces letters, photographs and other ephemera from the occasion. In addition to downloading a PDF of the article, you might also wish to view the film taken by the family, which may be found here.

Coloured label divination

Coloured label divination

A spectator is given the six coloured labels and asked to hide five and give one back to the performer behind his back, so he cannot see the colour. Turning around, the performer is correctly able to divine the colour of the selected label. The audience can examine the labels carefully and yet they will be unable to discover the secret.

We would like to credit Steffen Taut for sharing the following information. This trick was probably invented by F. Hügli. It was certainly marketed by Manfredo in Germany. Conradi Horster also sold the trick. In the first version of the trick the labels were made of cardboard. This was later changed to plastic, as in the photograph shown here. Also included is an advertisement from Der Zauberspiegel of September 1928. This describes the earlier cardboard version of the trick.

Still photographs from the Davenport family cine films

Still photographs from the Davenport family cine films

The collection contains cine film taken by the family, much of it from the 1930s. The film has been transferred to tape, and more recently converted to an electronic form, in order to preserve the images. During this process some of the more interesting frames have been printed out as photographs. The magician on the top sheet of photographs shown here is Gus Davenport performing in Berlin in 1937. The face of Ottokar Fischer can be seen in one of the photographs lower down in the pile.

Crystal decanter and mysterious handkerchiefs

Crystal decanter and mysterious handkerchiefs

The decanter is part of a trick where the magician places two different coloured handkerchiefs in the decanter. The audience chooses one colour and that handkerchief instantaneously vanishes. Probably supplied by the German dealer Conradi Horster.