Davenports reveal in spectacular detail, secrets gathered over 110 years as dealers, performers and hoarders of magical memorabilia. The first volume of 'The Davenport Story,' entitled, 'The Life and Times of a Magical Family, 1881-1939,' tells how Lewis Davenport, at the age of 16, founded his business in a highly competitive market. It describes how that business prospered and ultimately became one of the most recognizable names in magic.
In addition, he and succeeding generations were magical performers. Interwoven into the story is how they developed their acts and interacted with leading magicians and events. The story calls upon unique archive material acquired from the likes of The Servais LeRoy Company, Chung Ling Soo, Maskelyne's, Will Goldston, Arnold De Biere, Okito, Cardini, Kalanag, The Great Levante, Murray and many others. Other volumes are to follow and the second in the series, 'The Lost Legends,' will include Robert Harbin's unpublished 'Magic Marches On,' Edward Victor's lost book 'With Magic Hands' and as a bonus, a brilliant unpublished work by G. W. Hunter, 'The World of Magic.'
Volume One of 'The Davenport Story' is hard bound with color dust cover and has 441 pages with over 500 illustrations, including 16 full pages of color.
Volume Two 'The Lost Legends' Robert Harbin, Edward Victor, G. W. Hunter. Edited by Fergus Roy
The second volume, The Lost Legends, in The Davenport Story series unveils three hitherto unpublished works by eminent authors who were close personal friends of the family. These works were only recently discovered during research for this series.
The first by Robert Harbin, 'Magic Marches On,' was acquired by Davenports in 1946. Initially its non-publication was mainly due to manpower shortages in the immediate aftermath of the war. Then, with the sudden passing of Gilly, the manuscript was genuinely lost. It was not until 1996 whilst researching this series of books that it was discovered amongst Gilly's papers. This work includes 42 never-before-published tricks, illusions and escapes. Among the ingenious magical novelty effects are Glass and Cloth Eating, a Canon Ball Production and a completely new method for the classic Clock Dial trick. There are 14 new illusions, and one, 'The Middle Bit,' ingeniously incorporates five different effects.
The second, Edward Victor's lost fourth book, 'With Magic Hands,' adds to his famous trilogy and thus completes his series. Again, ill luck conspired against its publication. At the time he sold it to Gilly Davenport, Gilly was an ill man and was to pass away shortly afterwards. The manuscript was then lost amongst the heap of papers in his private office at home. There are chapters on Sleights with Cards with a Straight Deck and with Prepared Cards together with new routines for the Cut & Restored Rope and Cups & Balls feature, plus new effects with a paddle and other novelties.
Finally, the last work, 'Mystia' or 'The World of Magic,' is by the accomplished author and inventor, G. W. Hunter. This was written at the end of the 1880's and in this work, we are convinced that to have been able to describe how these superb effects were done, Hunter must have had access backstage. It was probably because of this espionage that he resisted publishing or parting with this work until shortly before his passing in 1939. The author analyses and reveals the secrets of the tricks of 36 leading magical acts in an era where innovative presentation was of the highest order. Acts include those of de Kolta (with actual drawings of his Chair illusion set up), Maskelyne, Kellar, Bertram and Alexander Herrmann. The last chapter holds a number of surprises.
The front cover of the volume replicates a publicity photograph of Harbin which was inscribed, 'To George and Family - Robert Harbin 1946.' George of course, was his friend Gilly Davenport. This photograph was taken at the same time as the manuscript was purchased by the Davenport family.
Volume 3 - The Life & Times of a Magical Family
The Davenport Story Volume 4
The final volume and climax of this universally acclaimed series. This is the amazing story of Will Goldston, one of the most influential magicians of the last century, gathered from thousands of documents acquired by the Davenport family in 1949. Further research has revealed a hitherto completely unknown extraordinary private life which would have ruined his reputation had it been known. He had an illustrious career, as a prominent magic dealer, author, magazine editor and founder of the elite Magicians' Club whose President was Harry Houdini until his death in 1926. Documents and photographs relating to Houdini's books and his first film as well as letters between the two reveal a close friendship.
Goldston was the author of some of the greatest works on magic, particularly his famous Locked Book series. As well as performing for Queen Victoria, he socialized with nobility and magic's elite. The volume includes 414 superbly illustrated descriptions of tricks from his rare 1916 "Magical Scraps," probably the greatest collection in existence.
There is also a chapter on his close friend, the brilliant illusionist Horace Goldin, which includes revelations on the origins of his Sawing a Woman in Half Illusion and his inner thoughts as to how he devised illusions taken from some 800 personal letters between him and his friend Goldston. Also included is a selection of some of his illusion patents.
Large format, hard cover, color dust cover, 463 pages with over 800 graphic illustrations.
All four volumes are USED, and all are Hardcovers with dust jackets (some with protective clear covers). These will only be sold as a 4-book set.
Due to the heavy weight of these books (17 lbs.), extra postage may be required.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Former owner has pasted small photos, of the magicians that are mentioned throughout these books, on the inside front cover & onto facing pages.There is also a colored dot on the spine of each volume, by which he indexed his collection, as well as substantial underlining throughout each book.THESE ARE USED BOOKS, and the listed price reflects these possibilities.