Mystery Box – Completed! Municipal Bldg. New York

Mystery Puzzle Municipal Bldg. NY
Municipal Bldg. New York – Pastime Puzzles? – 1600 pieces

Cue the fanfare and fireworks, the Puzzle Posse has completed The Challenge of 2019! The Mystery Box Puzzle I gave to mom for Christmas is finally finished! 🎇👵👵🎇

It took us almost 7 weeks, but partly because we only wanted to work on it together; we had to wait for days when we were both available and able to puzzle. There were many days with no progress made at all, but we loved all the time we got to spend together. ❤

I purchased this from eBay, it was just a random box of vintage wooden puzzle pieces. I had no idea how many puzzles were in the box or if any of them were complete. One of the absolute best puzzle purchases ever! It was given to mom for Christmas last year, the gift wasn’t the actual puzzle, but the time we would be able to spend with each other assembling it – and if I had spent 10 times as much money as I did it still would have been worth it (but I’m certainly happy that I didn’t have to empty my wallet quite that much 😉 ).

It’s a fantastic image – and was extremely challenging; not only the busyness of the bottom portion of the puzzle, but the deviousness of the color line cutting. They weren’t playing around back in the days of hand cut wooden puzzles! Sometimes you could rely on the image to help you with assembly, but where one thing meets another – watch out! We loved it❣

From what little research I was able to do, we believe this is a Pastime Puzzle manufactured by Parker Brothers. Two of the pieces had the word Parker written on the back, and some of the pieces look almost exactly like examples of pieces produced by Parker Brothers for their Pastime Puzzles shown in The Jigsaw Puzzle: Piecing Together a History by Anne D. Williams. It’s our moderately educated guess. If you have any information about this puzzle, I’d love to hear from you!

Mystery Puzzle 22

The puzzle was missing only 2 pieces out of 1600, which isn’t bad at all. Sure, it’s a tiny bit of a disappointment, but it takes nothing away from our enjoyment of the assembly. We believe this was manufactured in the early 1900’s, so it’s most likely at least around 80 years old. The swastika shaped piece in the sky portion makes us think it most likely pre-dates World War II, so that’s our best guesstimate. Missing two pieces doesn’t seem like that much of a big deal when you consider how old it is and how many total pieces there are.

Mystery Puzzle 19

We wanted to get a good close up of the amazing color line cuts to show you, it’s something, isn’t it? Unless you’ve worked with this type of cutting before it’s difficult to explain how this messes with your mind. Your eyes are telling you that the piece that should fit next to something should be a certain shade or color, but you absolutely cannot trust that! Bright sidewalk next to the dark green of the grass with the cuts made almost exactly where the colors meet – it’s an incredibly strenuous mental workout!

Mystery Puzzle 20

Here is just another example of the color line cutting, and the puff of white smoke from that smokestack kept us guessing until almost the very end! You can see here where the hand coloring has been added – and it looks as if it was painted directly onto the puzzle image itself. The green of the grass and trees was enhanced, as were the 3 American flags, the cupola of one of the smaller buildings, and the white smoke. This is a beautifully crafted puzzle, stunning in it’s complexity and quality!

Mystery Puzzle 21

This part had us faked out, we were certain it should have been at the top of the puzzle somewhere, and spent too much time looking for where we thought it should have fit in. Again, with no help from an image our brains were tricking us – it’s in the lower third of the image, nowhere near the top. We had to override our puzzling instincts and just go where the piece shapes took us. 🙂

Mystery Puzzle and Mom

Here’s my adorable mom with “the best Christmas present she’s ever gotten”. Her words, not mine. ☺ You can tell from this picture how very large this puzzle is, approximately 30 x 40 inches. Wow. The Posse has done it again!

From this…

Box of wooden pieces

To this…

Mystery Puzzle Municipal Bldg. NY

In 48 days! With no box, picture, or a clue as to what it might be I think we did a pretty damn good job! I have no idea what we’re going to do with ourselves now, mom says we have to find another big project. It’s her turn to find us something awesome!


35 thoughts on “Mystery Box – Completed! Municipal Bldg. New York

  1. Mom

    What a wonderful time we had! So many mixed emotions as we placed the final pieces! Joy at completing this FABULOUS puzzle and sadness that there was nothing left to look forward to accomplishing. Alas, that is the way of life. Nothing is forever. It was SO MUCH FUN! And the sense of accomplishment was beyond description. I wish we could have shared it with all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Penny Allenbaugh Weiss

    Woo hoo! That is amazing! It looks awesome ladies. I love it! And wow, to think the puzzle is really that old makes it even more fun! And great pics too btw! Momma should have taken one pic with you though!

    I have a new challenge for you. Gather up several puzzles by the same artist with a similar theme and around the same piece counts (say 500 or 1,000 each), and then mix the bags together and create your own fun, 3 or 4 puzzle challenge! Like three or four underwater scenes, or cartoony puzzles….something like that. Great fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy

    This is nothing short of AMAZING! Mother & Daughter are puzzlers EXTRAORDINAIRE. To put something together with no clue as to what the image was is beyond my comprehension (I’m still taking baby steps in puzzling). I’m in complete awe of your puzzling abilities. Seeing the complexity of the cuts adds to my admiration. Your brains got an incredible workout!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t planning on it. They posted it as a box of pieces they got in a large lot with other vintage wooden puzzles; these pieces were just in a moving box on their own. They didn’t have the inclination to assemble them to see what was there and just wanted to be rid of them I suppose.


  4. BetsyThePuzzled

    This is so cool! I’ve really enjoyed following along on the puzzle in progress and it’s neat to see how it came together. Can’t wait to see what the next big project you and your mom are up to next!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Merylee

    I am stunned! This is a truly brilliant achievement! Please tell us you’re not going to ever take it apart! It belongs in a museum! I love the joy you and mom shared spending all that time together. Not only are you puzzle geniuses but two very blessed and loved ladies.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Whatever you do, please don’t glue it so that no one else will ever have the pleasure of assembling it again! Perhaps you can mount it without glue, moving it onto another board and sandwiching it with a sheet of glass? It’s a fantastic puzzle.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Mom

      We are blessed indeed, Merylee!
      What mother would not love to be able to share a hobby with her adult child and to have that adult child want to spend time with her doing that hobby?
      I am so grateful to be able to spend so much time with Stacey, laughing and puzzling, and just enjoying this friend I gave birth to!
      I am overwhelmed and blessed and grateful!
      I love you, Stacey!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mandy

    Congratulations Stacey and Mom.
    When I first saw that box of wooden pieces back in December I thought you were mad!!!
    I could never envisage it being finished. Hats off to you both for your dedication and perserverance, it looks magnificent……:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ellen LoGiudice

    Stacey, Comgratulations! What fun to see it assembled at last. It’s an incredible puzzle and piece of history! Just think there probably was a catalog of the puzzles for that year long ago from Parker. A different world. What fun if that could be found!
    I love the picture of Mom with the puzzle. Had no idea it was that big!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ellen! It is definitely an incredible puzzle. It’s pretty dang big too! I’d love to find out any information about this puzzle, but don’t really know where to start. Parker Bros. stopped making these puzzles about 60 years ago, and I know the company’s been purchased several times over.


  8. Ronda Dearing

    Hi Stacey. I really enjoyed watching your progress on this one. Such a great find. It is not a challenge I would have taken on, but I love your sense of adventure. There is a man the jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts group who makes custom wooden puzzles. Perhaps he could help with the missing pieces??? Thanks for sharing your puzzling joy with fellow enthusiasts. -Ronda

    Liked by 1 person

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