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The Elusive Rabbits by Davenport’s(c. 1958,1962,1984,2002) (Submit Review) (Submit Update)
The Elusive Rabbits or Hippity-Hop Rabbits was invented by The Great Norman (Norman Hazeldene) c. 1947. Norman sold the rights to Harry Stanley when Harry was in partnership with Jack Hughes and Arthur Dowler and they released the first version in early 1947. The effect was a big success.
Davenport’s released their first version c. 1958 when they were located at New Oxford Street. This version is probably the same design as their first version but the instructions say Charing Cross Underground which is where they moved to c. 1962. As far as I can tell the rights were sold to Supreme by Harry Stanley and all other versions were made without permission. In fact in 1984 Davenport’s made a big deal in Abra about their new version made from wood that irked Supreme Magic so much they ran an advert in Abra the week after which began:
“We were surprised recently to see an advertisement by Davenport’s for ‘Elusive Rabbits’. They have no “right” whatsoever to this effect. They state in their advertisement it has taken many years to find someone to do good wood-work. The apparatus we produce (with full permission from Harry Stanley’s Unique Magic Studio and from Norman himself,- will stand head and shoulders above any being sold anywhere in the world. Not only that, the copy pirates have the audacity to charge more for their inferior model than we charge for our authentic and beautifully-made one.” (Abracadabra, March 3rd, 1984)
(both ads can been seen in their entirety when scrolling through the product images on this page.) I highlight this just to remind anyone who thinks magic dealers stealing each others ideas is a new thing, it is not and has been going on as long as magic has itself 🙁
Davenport’s have created a few versions and they even feature a set in their 2002 Demon Catalog where they refer to the creator as Norman Hunter (instead of Norman Hazeldene – The Great Norman). But what is a few facts between friends 🙂
Anyway, onto the prop itself. This is a good sized version with a simple clear design and bright colors. I found the release for the climax a little stiffer than I would like but after adding some lube it became much easier, though this would not be my first choice for this prop. However, they do work fine and are in great condition for their age and would look perfect in your collection.
Effect: A black cutout rabbit stands one side of the stage and a white one on the other. Each is then covered with a chimney having a matching colored top hat motif on the front.
The performer then explains that he will make the rabbits change places. After suitable passes this occurs, but the audience are not satisfied as it is obvious that each rabbit has been turned round and the reverse side of each is painted in the opposite color.
Eventually, the audience demand the rabbits are turned around without the covers and the rabbits are then shown to be RED and YELLOW.
Approx. Price: $225.00 (2022) ***Notice: I am not a dealer and this item is not for sale on this site. It maybe available in the links below or at our sister site: qualitymagic.com, but not from here so please do not ask.
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