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The December 2021 issue included:
– a very effective penetration trick from 1933.
– a box from the German magic dealer Carl Willmann, full of apparatus for a shadowgraphy performance.
– rare items from the Maskelyne and Cooke Provincial Company from the 1900 period.
– a 1904 illuminated address to Mr. and Mrs. Devant, concerning their daughter Vida.
– examples of novelties and jokes spanning 100 years.
– new plans for the website in 2022.

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

To our knowledge the contents of this partnership agreement have remained confidential until now. The parties to the agreement were J.N. and Nevil Maskelyne (the Maskelynes) and David Devant. Devant was managing partner. The Maskelyne and Cooke Provincial Company made annual tours of Great Britain from 1899 to 1905. The Entertainment Bureau supplied high class entertainments for many years. There is much of interest in the partnership agreement and Anne’s article is a useful summary.

The layout of this programme is unusual. It lists sixty-six performers or acts, which is far too many to be the programme for the evening. This is more likely to be a list of performers who have entertained at one or more of the previous concerts. The programme also includes illustrations for around twenty acts, so perhaps the evening’s entertainment was made up by some or all of these. The names include Mr. Frederic Russell, Mr. James Stuart, Mr. David Devant and Mr. Sidney Gandy and Miss Inglefield. The list of acts to be found in the details for this item is based on all those acts illustrated in the programme.

No location for the show is given, so this appears to be a generic programme for use at multiple venues. The programme lists many of Devant’s tricks but does not mention any other performers. Devant’s performances at the Egyptian Hall are not mentioned, so the date will not be later than 1893.

This impressive advertising is to promote Devant’s ‘Brilliant and highly refined drawing-room entertainment’. The excellent portrait photographs, signed Meisenbach, show Devant and his young wife. Today we know that they were not actually married at this time.