This plate has multiple images on it, one of which has been sawn out, presumably for use in some promotional material. The largest image shows Lewis in a pose which was used on the letterhead of ‘Les Davenports’ notepaper, item N2718 which is also illustrated here. This act was formed after the death of Lewis’s first wife, Julia. The act consisted of Lewis who provided the magic and Julia’s brother, Dave Dwyer, who provided the comedy.

We know that this photograph was taken at the 1915 B.I.F. because The Toy Trader and Exporter of Thursday 3 May 1951 published it as part of a look-back to the first B.I.F. at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington. Lewis Davenport is sitting within the stand. We do not know who the lady is. Hanging from the corner column of the stand are several catalogues with the Union Jack on the cover. This catalogue, item N1559, which is also illustrated here, shows that the flag was printed in colour and the message on the cover ‘All British Catalogue’ is entirely appropriate for the Fair. However, from the contents of the catalogue, it is doubtful that the message is entirely true.

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The September 2021 issue included:
– a 19th century dissecting drawer box.
– the Pipe of Wu Fang.
– the Watch Your Step “Unique Magic” children’s trick.
– a variety of jokes.
– Mickey Mouse and Lewis Davenport.
– optical illusions and optical surprises.

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The December 2020 issue included:
– What kept John Nevil Maskelyne busy in 1894?
– Steve Beam on bookplates.
– Space-efficient collections.
– Lewis Davenport’s travels in Europe.
– It’s December, so here’s an example of that perennial gift: the magic set.

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The September 2020 issue included:
– Cecil Lyle’s Chocolate Box Illusion.
– The Egyptian Hall, 19th century lithographs.
– Novelties and toys – old and new.
– David Devant, Walter R. Booth and early cinema.
– A talk about John Ramsay by Dr E.A. Dawes.

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The March 2020 issue included:
– Magic sets.
– Jokes.
– Linga Singh by Nigel Dutt.
– The magic of Lewis Davenport and his first wife Julia.
– Early days of the Maskelyne and Devant partnership at St. George’s Hall.

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E-newsletters like this one are sent out four times a year, highlighting recent additions to the website. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please contact the curator.

The February 2019 issue included:
Intermittently on the halls, a talk by Anne Goulden about Lewis Davenport.
The first of 80 British Ring conventions, Cheltenham 1931, a talk by Roy Field.
Noms de Theatre – stage names for magicians, a talk by Paul Freeman.
– a Gustav Fasola poster.
– Frederick Culpitt’s Doll’s House.
– Oswald Williams’ Noah’s Ark illusion.
– Production of a Ford car.
– The Friendship Clock – a gift from Punx to Lewis Davenport.

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Lewis Davenport had this miniature lens produced showing a publicity postcard drawn in 1930 by George Cooke (who was not the Cooke of Maskelyne and Cooke). The miniature lens fitted into a ring and would have served as a novelty give away. When held very close to the eye, and looking through the lens towards a bright light, the image becomes visible. Details of Stanhope lenses can be found on the web. It is very hard to obtain a photograph of what is seen when you look through the lens. We wish to thank Ken Scott for the very clear image which is illustrated here.