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

Kalanag

Film taken by the Davenports at the 1936 German Magic Circle convention in Munich

Film taken by the Davenports at the 1936 German Magic Circle convention in Munich

The 1936 German Magic Circle (Magischer Zirkel Deutschland) convention was the first one in Germany attended by the Davenports: Lewis, Wynne and Gus. It was a good opportunity to meet many continental magic dealers and magicians. This film, shot by the family, shows some of the attendees at the convention as well as shots of the Wittelsbach fountain in Lenbachplatz in Munich. We don’t recognize everyone but, as well as Lewis and Gus Davenport, there are good shots of Mayette, Venot, Dr Dhotel, Schreiber and Mr and Mrs Conradi-Horster. Conradi-Horster was a good friend and well known magician and dealer who supplied Davenports business with magic apparatus. A Conradi-Horster catalogue may be found here. The featured illustration shows Conradi-Horster on the left talking with Lewis Davenport.

Film of Helmut Schreiber show, Berlin, 1937 convention

Film of Helmut Schreiber show, Berlin, 1937 convention

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. The President of the Magischer Zirkel was Helmut Schrieber (Kalanag). This film of Kalanag’s show at the convention was taken by F.A. Brandt.

Blue enamelled Kalanag stickpin

Blue enamelled Kalanag stickpin

A souvenir item from the well-known German magician Kalanag (Helmut Schreiber). Much information on Kalanag (1903-1963) is available on the web. The manufacturer of the badge is B.H. Mayer of Pforzheim: their name is on the reverse side of the badge.

‘Water from India’ jug owned by Kalanag

‘Water from India’ jug owned by Kalanag

Kalanag made a feature of this trick in his performances. Each time he picked up the jug during his show, he would pour more water from it, despite the fact that he had previously emptied it. The jug came into the Davenport Collection following ownership by several notable magicians and collectors, of whom we have details.

Noms de Theatre – stage names for magicians

Noms de Theatre – stage names for magicians

We are grateful to Paul Freeman who has given us permission to include this PDF version of his talk, which he has given in England and Austria between 2008 and 2011. Paul relates the interesting and often surprising ways in which magicians have ended up with a well-known stage name.

Chevalier Ernest Thorn – “King of Illusionists”

Chevalier Ernest Thorn – “King of Illusionists”

Many know the name Chevalier Thorn, but few of us know his story. Paul Freeman’s research has pulled together a revealing picture of the man and his magic. From his birth in 1853 to his death in 1928 there were huge changes in the world of magic. Thorn’s accomplishments contributed to these changes and deserve wider recognition. Paul Freeman’s talk will do much to rectify this. Click here to download the PDF based on his talk.

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.