Gus Davenport became involved in creating and selling premium lines for a number of companies, including the large breakfast cereal companies. Smaller customers sometimes required inexpensive magic tricks and puzzles. So this collection was printed on one sheet prior to the individual items being stamped out. With simple instructions they made a successful popular give-away.

The German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a congress in Berlin. The Davenport family – Lewis, Wynne and Gus – were there. Gus Davenport won a competition, the prize being the statuette ‘Táltos’ (see also N108). Part of his competition act is shown in this film. The film was taken by F.A. Brandt. The illustrations show Táltos and the story as told by the World’s Fair.

The German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a congress in Berlin. The Davenport family – Lewis, Wynne and Gus – were there. This film by F.A. Brandt shows Gus Davenport delivering greetings from magicians in Great Britain. Although the film is silent, the speech was recorded at the time on a gramophone record. This sound has therefore been added to the film clip. The illustrations here include one of the gramophone record which, unusually, is very flexible and plays at 78rpm from the centre outwards.

The German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) celebrated its 25th anniversary with a congress in Berlin. The Davenport family – Lewis, Wynne and Gus – were there. Gus Davenport conveyed greetings from magicians in Great Britain and entered, and won, a competition. This film, taken by F.A. Brandt, captures the proceedings and includes shots of many notables such as Helmut Schreiber, Marvelli and Ottokar Fischer. Brandt’s film has been edited in this version so as to avoid divulging magic secrets.

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The March 2021 issue included:
Gems from The Magic Circle Collection: Mr Maskelyne’s famous play by Anne Goulden.
Gus Davenport – the man and the magician by John Davenport.
– Roy Field on Magic at the Seaside.
– Honouring Oswald Williams.
– Paul Freeman on Adalbert Frikell.

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

When your target picks up this matchbox from the table, it immediately wobbles in a most surprising manner. The box contains a clockwork motor with an eccentric weight attached. As soon as the box is lifted the motor starts. This style of matchbox was sold by Gus Davenport in the 1960s. John Davenport recalls helping his father Gus fit the mechanical works into the matchboxes, once the matches had been removed.

This crest was kept by Gus Davenport who served on the destroyer HMS Keppel during WW2. The crest is made from wood from a packing case – wartime shortages! The motto translates as: Do not give in to evil.

As is often the case, the real interest is in the story which lies behind this item. It was probably in the 1930s that magician Jack Blake was in Davenports and saw this handkerchief at the back of the counter. George Davenport was out at the time and so Mr Blake asked Gus Davenport if he could have a look at it, and what was the price. On being told, he bought it. Later, when George came back, he was furious because the item was a prototype and not for sale. In fact the material was not silk, but a heavier material. Gus didn’t know it was not for sale. We only know of this story because in 1989 Granville Taylor (Faust) bought the cloth from Mr Blake and then, almost a decade later in 1998, Granville presented it to John and Anne Davenport with a message that included: ‘I think it is only fitting that it should be returned to The House of Davenport . . . P.S. Make sure it doesn’t accidently disappear again!’ The story is contained in letters from Granville and Mr Blake which reside in the collection.

In 1926 Lewis Davenport, his wife Wynne and children Gus and Wyn toured South African theatres. They travelled there and back on R.M.S. Arundel Castle. These souvenirs made of electroplated nickel silver (EPNS) would come from this trip. The postcard showing the steamer is from the same period, no doubt also collected on the trip.

Gus and John Davenport built an OO gauge model railway in the 1960s. Once built, they tired of watching the trains go round, and so looked for other things to add to the layout. On one side of the layout was a cliff covered in nothing other than clumps of grass on the cliff face. This seemed the ideal spot to build a funicular, and that is what they did. I have included it on this website for personal reasons, and on the basis that a home made funicular is certainly a novelty! A film of the layout made by magician Harry Baron is also in the collection.