Susan Marcell's Collection of


WOODEN JIGSAW PUZZLES


My interest in wooden jigsaw puzzles began when I was a small child and my parents purchased two Par Puzzles from a lending puzzle library that was closing. It would be more than 50 years before I acquired another Par, just a short time before I discovered the wooden puzzle candy store called Ebay. The family puzzle collection grew slowly over the years, mainly through gifts at birthdays and Christmas. As adults, my brother and I split the collection between us. His puzzles are now in Pacific Grove, California, while mine reside in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Wooden puzzles were much harder to find in Virginia than they were in my native New England. I combed antique, consignment, and junk stores, drove the yard sale circuit on Saturday mornings, and placed classified ads in the local papers. All of these efforts eventually proved rewarding, but it was not unusual for three or four years to go by between puzzle purchases. My collection has grown considerably since I became a daily visitor to Ebay. I am currently experimenting with puzzle cutting, trying different methods of making replacement pieces.


This web site displays the best of my wooden puzzle collection, and includes commentary on their particular features. I hope you will enjoy it. Please view this site using the whole screen.




Falls Puzzles   |   Par Puzzles   |   Pastime Puzzles
U-Nit Puzzles   |   Tuck's Zag-Zaw Puzzles  |   Victory Puzzles
Straus Puzzles   |   Academy Puzzles   |   Madmar Puzzles
Chad Valley Puzzles   |   Other Puzzles  |   Unknown Puzzles

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FALLS PUZZLES
Chagrin Falls and Cleveland Heights, Ohio



Thanks to Anne Williams, I learned that this is a Falls Puzzle many years after I acquired it. Made in the 1930's by the John Paul Jones family, the puzzle measures 15½ x 12 inches and has 347 pieces (3 replacements and 1 mended). Of these, 101 are figurals! The picture itself, title unknown, is fairly undistinguished, and I believe the puzzle is most interesting when viewed from the back (see below).



Without the distraction of the picture, one can see clearly the intricacy of the cut, the awesome number of figurals, and the way the figurals interact with each other. There are dancing couples, duelers, a horse and cart, a mule being coaxed with a carrot, children playing ball, and more. One of my favorites is a group in the upper left of this view, which is given a three- dimensional look by having part of the male figure hidden behind his partner.

The figurals in this puzzle include 35 people, 26 cats, 19 geometric shapes (incl. 9 edge crosses), 7 dogs, 4 horses, 2 elephants, and 1 cart, donkey, mule, ostrich, rabbit, lamb, goat, and eagle. There are only 2 pieces in this puzzle which do not touch a figural piece.



Falls Puzzles are easily identified by a signature piece which appears in the lower right corner of each picture -- a girl falling on her back.


PAR PUZZLES
The Par Company, Ltd., New York, New York
Barn Bound. 12 x 9 inches. 211 pieces (2 replacements). 8 figurals. PAR time: 1 hour, 20 minutes. Color line cutting around the horses. This puzzle is sufficiently interlocking to remain intact when picked up by one corner.
Replacement pieces were cut last year by Dave Cooper, Herne Bay, Kent, England, with art work by his wife, Val.
Barn Bound figural pieces.
Par puzzles have a mahogany veneer backing. Figural pieces are beautifully detailed and imaginative. The signature piece is a sea horse.



Toast the Day. 15 x 12 inches. 360 pieces (1 Cooper replacement). 12 figurals. PAR time: 2 hours, 50 minutes. [1724H] Color line cutting around horses, riders, and dogs.
Toast the Day figurals. Note the two figures on the right side are mirror images of each other. A Par logo is shown at the bottom left.
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Way Up. 13 x 19½ inches. 500 pieces. 19 figurals. PAR time: 3 hours, 50 minutes. [4988A] Colorline cutting on many architectural line. The title of a Par puzzle seldom provides more than a hint as to the subject of the picture, and this hint is frequently couched in a play on words or a pun. Puzzles were packaged in shiny black boxes with green labels, and pictures were never provided.
Way Up figural pieces. Two signature sea horses are included, one facing in each direction.


PASTIME PUZZLES
Parker Bros., Inc., Salem, Mass.
He Fought the Good Fight. 16½ x 23¼ inches, 509 pieces, including 64 figurals. Sawed by 80. Dated 3/23/33. Extensive colorline cutting.
This is the back side of He Fought the Good Fight. I have flipped the image horizontally to make it easier to compare with the above picture. Colorline cutting in this puzzle is extensive. One is able to virtually "see" the picture from the back.



Feeding the Peacocks. 14½ x 23 inches. 517 pieces, with 63 figurals. Sawed by 308. Dated 11/21/22. This is one of my favorite puzzles, not only because of the delightful picture, but also because it is great fun to work. One feels frequent "contact" with a very tricky puzzle cutter.
Here are just a few of the many figurals found in Feeding the Peacocks. Two are 2-piece figurals. Immediately to their left are three enhanced figurals. Very fine cuts have been added to these figurals to enhance the design. I particularly like the figural of the egg, chick, and hatching chick, as well as the children reading a book, sailing a boat, and carrying a kite.



The Trysting Place. 14 x 18 inches. 536 pieces with figurals. Sawed by 102. Dated 8/10/33. I acquired this puzzle with the two above it from a woman in Texas whose Charlottesville visitor had remembered my name from a classified ad and told her of my interest in puzzles. We enjoyed a pleasant correspondence resulting in a wonderful purchase.



Anxious Moments. 15½ x 21. 503 pieces, with 62 figurals. Sawed by 731. I believe the best pictures for puzzles are those which tell a story. The artist here is Hy Hintermeister, and he is a master story-teller.
Some of the more interesting figurals from Anxious Moments. Notice the 3-piece figural and the enhanced figurals near it.



Anne Hathaway's Cottage. 11½ x 15½ inches. 285 pieces, with figurals (1 replacement piece). Certain subjects seem to be very popular in the puzzle world. My guess for the top five (in no special order) would be: thatched cottages (particularly this one); Venetian canal scenes; Dutch flower markets; hunting scenes; and men grouped around a table. The most popular sport depicted in puzzles appears to be fishing.



Country Road. 10¾ x 13¾ inches. 215 pieces, with figurals. A nice little piece of folk art.



It Won't Be Long Now.Another nice story picture by Hy Hintermeister, with half a dozen replacement pieces by Dave Cooper.


U-NIT PUZZLES
47 Beverly Road, W. Caldwell, N.J.
Winter. 21¾ x 18 inches. 600 pieces, with figurals. Complete. I acquired all five U-Nit puzzles in a single purchase after placing a classified ad in the local paper. An exciting day!



Buying Flowers. 21¾ x 17½ inches. 600 pieces, with figurals. Complete.



Road to the Lake. 21¾ x 17¾ inches. 600 pieces, with figurals. Complete.



Summer Vista. 19½ x 15½ inches. 500 pieces, with figurals. Complete.



The Shipbuilders. 17½ x 14 inches. 400 pieces, with figurals. Complete.


TUCK'S ZAG-ZAW PICTURE PUZZLES
Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd., London
A Floral Harmony. 8 x 12 inches. 165 pieces, with 20 figurals. Disguised edges. Complete. I purchased this puzzle at my first AGPC regional puzzle meeting in Katonah, NY.
Figurals from A Floral Harmony.



Yachts Off the Coast.18 x 25 inches. 750 pieces, with figurals. 1 replacement piece by Dave Cooper. I found this magnificent puzzle in a junk/antique shop about twenty years ago. The owner didn't know anything about "what was in that orange box," and sold it to me for $2.


VICTORY JIG-SAW PUZZLES
G. J. Hayter & Co., Ltd., Boscombe, Bournemouth, England
A Room with a View. 12 x 16 inches. 350 pieces. The lovely picture makes up for this puzzle's rather routine strip cut.



The Flower Seller. 24 x 13½ inches. 600 pieces, with figurals. A Victory Artistic puzzle.



Hunting with Falcon. 13 x 17 inches. 400 pieces. A Victory Gold Box puzzle.



Charles I Says Farewell to His Children. 15 x 19 inches. 500 pieces. A Victory Artistic puzzle.



A Rare Piece. 9¾ x 12½ inches. 200 pieces, with figurals. A Victory Gold Box puzzle. This is a very nice little puzzle with an great picture, an interesting cut and disguised edges.



Shepher's Market. 9¾ x 12¾ inches. 200 pieces, with figurals. A Victory Artistic puzzle.



A Small Holding. 9¾ x 12¾ inches. 200 pieces, with figurals. A Victory Artistic puzzle.


STRAUS JIG SAW PUZZLES
Joseph K. Straus, Brooklyn, N.Y.
A Good Game. 8 x 10½ inches. 150+ pieces.



Parisian Dance. 12 x 16 inches. 300+ pieces.


ACADEMY JIG-SAW PUZZLES
J. Salmon Ltd., Sevenoaks, England
A Worcestershire Cottage. 5 x 7 inches. 55 pieces. #J507.


MADMAR PUZZLES
Madmar Quality Co., Utica, N.Y.
The Marriage of George and Martha Washington. 4¾ x 6 inches. 50 pieces. A Madmar Interlox Puzzle.



Lincoln at Gettysburg. 9 x 11½ inches. 200 pieces. A Madmar Interlox Puzzle.


CHAD VALLEY PUZZLES
Chad Valley Co, Ltd., Harborne, England
description



Stratford-Upon-Avon, Harvard House. 16 x 22 inches. 400 pieces. Published by the Great Western Railway Co. Packaged in a nice book-like box.


OTHER PUZZLES

Safe and Sound. 16 x 20 inches. 520 pieces. By Clara F. Davis. "Interlochen" Jig Saw Puzzle, 110 S. Main Street, West Hartford, CT.



The King's Staircase, Hampton Court Palace. Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company Ltd., Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England. The puzzle measures 9 3/4 x 14 inches, and has 250 pieces, including figurals shown below. It is complete, although 2 pieces are broken.

This wooden puzzle is quite thin, and the picture has a hard, glossy finish, giving it a near-plastic feel.
The figurals in this puzzle are quite charming and in some cases very intricate. They follow a theme inspired by the picture.



Honeymoon Camp. 5 x 7 inches. 95 pieces, with figurals. Kleen Kut Zig Zaw Puzzles. #31. Manufactured by John B. Knoll, 1315 Good Street, Reading, PA. Packaged in an attractive checkerboard box.



Songbird and Summer Fruit. 13½ x 8½ inches. 224 pieces. Glencraft, South Windham, Maine. A strip cut puzzle.



General Wolfe. 7½ x 11 inches. 198 pieces, including a bear figural signature piece. By Michael Morin, Black Bear Puzzles. Dated 1/29/01. Puzzle #55. A new puzzle, packaged in its own cedar box.



The First Catch. 12 x 16 inches. 334 pieces, with figurals (3 poor replacements which need to be re-cut). Cheerio Jigsaw Puzzles. Made by H. A. Gleason, Arlington MA. 1930's.



Flowers in Holland. 12 x 16 inches. 313 pieces, with 24 figurals. Riggledy Novelty Co. Made by Stafford and Ryan. 1930's.


UNKNOWN PUZZLES - CAN YOU HELP IDENTIFY?

[Painting a Vase] 6 x 8 inches. 50 pieces. Cutter unknown. This puzzle was part of the family's original collection.



[Harbor Scene] 3½ x 5½ inches. 30 pieces. I think this is either an Academy puzzle or a Chad Valley product.



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Welbeck. 5 x 7 inches. 50 pieces. Again, I would guess Academy or Chad Valley. The only information on the original box is the title and the phrase "Made in England."