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!
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.
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!
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!
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. 🙂
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!
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!