This advertisement can be folded to show The Box Trick in action. The words explain: ‘The performer enters the box which he completely fills so that no part can collapse inwards. It is then locked, enveloped in a sack, corded and sealed thus preventing any section giving outwards. Yet in a few seconds the gentleman escapes without disturbing a single knot, leaving the box perfectly empty.’ The year is not stated, but we know from other publicity that the year is 1899. The same novelty design was used by Maskelyne and Cooke’s Mysteries when they were performing in Dublin in 1901 (item N2592).
Mr. H. Verne
This is a programme from Devant’s cinevariety tour 1898-1899. The programme tells us that Devant was actually performing twice nightly at the Egyptian Hall. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
This item could act as advance publicity, as well as serving as a brief programme. The show was cinevariety, including Animated Photographs and many of Devant’s illusions in Zauberwunder. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
David Devant’s entertainment was a mixture of animated photos (early cine film) and live acts. One film was The Eve of the Battle of Omdurman. The battle took place on 2 September 1898 and so this programme must be later than this date. See Devant and early cinema for similar items.
Probably in the period between 10 October 1892 and just before Christmas. According to the book by George Jenness on the Egyptian Hall, Douglas Beaufort was first at the Hall on 10 October 1892 and finished just before Christmas.
Maskelyne and Cooke’s twentieth consecutive year at the Egyptian Hall was 1892-1893. According to the book by George Jenness on the Egyptian Hall, Louis Duprez and his trio of Canine Conjurors was new to the Hall on 19 December 1892. Jeness also said that just before Christmas 1892 Douglas Beaufort finished, but the dogs remained on the holiday programme, which also included Arcana, Proper-ganders and Mr. H. Verne. The earliest date for this programme would therefore be just before Christmas 1892.
This programme belongs to Maskelyne and Cooke’s 1886 tour. At the time of this tour Charles Bertram was presenting Buatier de Kolta’s Vanishing Lady (L’Escamotage en Personne Vivante) at the Egyptian Hall in London. Note that in this programme the Vanishing Lady is presented by Nevil Maskelyne.
3 December 1885 is the date written on the cover. This is probably correct.
The date is unclear, but the bill is consistent with the evening performances in May 1886, according to Jenness.
The bill includes ‘Arcana’ which was first produced on 5 November 1887, according to Jenness. ‘Arcana’ continued for at least 8 months into 1888. The likely programme date is therefore 5 November 1887 to some point during 1888.
A note on page 3 makes it clear that this is an evening programme and that the matinee programme is entirely different and includes Charles Bertram. According to Jenness, Bertram first appeared on 17 December 1885. The programme date is therefore likely to be after mid December 1885 or into 1886.
The bill includes ‘Arcana’ which was first produced on 5 November 1887, according to Jenness. ‘Arcana’ continued for at least 8 months into 1888. The bill is identical to that of programme Ref. no. N1568, so the date may well be summer 1888. Note that this programme is Price one penny, whereas no price is given on N1568.