John Davenport believes that these were probably owned by his father Gus Davenport. This is a good example of ‘pipitis’, the condition which leads to the purchase of items covered in emblems, such as cards, beloved of many magicians.

Boxes covered in paper of this design were usually produced by Gus Davenport for the firm Robins. However this box, unfortunately with no contents, has a Maskelyne’s Mysteries label and instruction sheet on the inside of the lid. It should be recognised that there is no such thing as a definitive collection of Davenport produced magic sets. Boxes and contents were mixed and matched to make best use of available stock and meet the price required by the customer.

This is a magic set put together by Gus Davenport around the late 1950s, either when he was running Goldston’s or when he was in partnership with Maureen Robin. The box in the Davenport Collection has no contents, but also illustrated is a box once owned by Dr Michael Colley. It is shown here with his permission.

The cup and saucer came with an instruction booklet, the rear cover of which includes ‘Royal Kendall (sic) English Bone China, Hudson & Middleton (Longton) Ltd, Stoke-on-Trent. Copyright H&M(L) Ltd 1985. Note that this cup and saucer is a very close copy of the one that Gus Davenport put out, Ref. no. N1077.

The box was illustrated in the Harrods Christmas catalogue for 1961. The price was 32/6d. The boxes were supplied by Gus Davenport, either when trading as Goldston’s or when in partnership with Maureen Robin. The box also contained the Mysterious Sponge Cubes and the Vanishing Egg, but these had perished and had to be thrown away.

Second world war identification tag belonging to Gus Davenport who was a Supply Assistant in the Royal Navy. Gus did a large number of shows during the war, leaning on Davenports magic shop to provide a never ending supply of new material. His entertainment efforts were recognised by his colleagues in a gift of a silver cigarette case, Ref. no. N304.