Magic Books versus Conjuring Books…

DavidPrice

On The Davenport Collection website which I mentioned and recommended a few days ago, I came across this funny bit in a fine article on “Booksellers, collectors, and rogues” by David Price (the British one) about the fine line between magic books and conjuring books, at least back in the Fifties:

Magicbooks

Love it!

I wonder whether similar “magic” code words exist(ed) in other languages as well?


 

Snapshots and Pieces from The Davenport Collection

Speaking of magic websites brimming with inspiring information on tricks, tricksters, and history, I also need to mention The Davenport Collection website, which is fed (you guessed it) by the Davenport dynasty. It was started in 2016, today it already hosts about 900 entries, and it keeps growing.

The layout is so Nineties, but the content is wonderful! Serious students of the past should find the articles and conference papers of magic historians particularly interesting. Here’s an excerpt:

Davenports
Screenshot from the website

Go and have a look, but don’t complain to me later that you have just spent two or three hours of browsing, reading, and marveling over there!


 

Tricks That Need To Be Invented

GoodliffeGag
“…and when I now pull the string in my left inside pocket, ladies and gentlemen, my ears will pop right back to their regular place!”

A Goodliffe photograph snipped for a cheap laugh from a Donald Bevan manuscript on Goodliffe and Abracadabra magazine, which you may read here on the fine Davenport Collection website.


 

Peter “The Painter” Warlock

WarlockdeKolta
The Davenport Collection website screenshot

It’s not uncommon for magicians to pursue other creative ventures, like painting, shadowgraphy (Dai Vernon‘s main source of income) or edible magic art (Annabel de Vetten). Please have a look in my “Magic Art” section for numerous other bits and links.

As I just noticed on The Davenport Collection website (a fine and growing resource for magic history buffs!), magician and mentalist Peter Warlock was also an anbitious amateur painter. Several examples from the Davenport collection are on display there, including some where he tried his hand on trompe de l’oeil art (which links him with Georges Méliès, see an upcoming post).

Above you see his rendition of Buatier de Kolta performing his unique “Expanding Die” illusion.