The Box of Astaroth – The Davenport Brothers Edition
Created with a traditional spiritualist theme in mind The Davenport Brothers edition captures the mystery and trickery of the day in the form of a miniature spirit cabinet.
The Davenports began in 1854, less than a decade after Spiritualism had taken off in America. After stories of the Fox sisters, the Davenports started reporting similar occurrences. Their father took up managing his sons and the group was joined by William Fay, a Buffalo resident with an interest in conjuring. Their shows were introduced by a former "Restoration Movement" minister, Dr. J. B. Ferguson, a follower of Spiritualism, who assured the audience that the brothers worked by spirit power rather than deceptive trickery. Ferguson was apparently sincere that the Davenports possessed spiritual powers.
The Davenports' most famous effect was the box illusion. The brothers were tied inside a box which contained musical instruments. Once the box was closed, the instruments would sound. Upon opening the box, the brothers were tied in the positions in which they had started the illusion. Those who witnessed the effect were made to believe supernatural forces had caused the trick to work.
The miniature version of the brother's box illusion mirrors their larger original with the ability to make musical instruments play from within, move objects and even make the curtains twitch in response to questions.