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[1352]from "JC"--14 November 2004:
I have a wooden Jigsaw puzzle from a company I believe was called Motif Picture Puzzle out of Lynn, MA. There is a slip of paper with the puzzle which gives an address of 15 State Street, Lynn, Mass. The puzzle's title is "Three Graces" and the picture is of a woman sitting by a pond with two swans and the style of the artwork seems to be from the late 1920's. The puzzle pieces are unique in that they are actual shapes of animals, letters, numbers, states and so on.
I am curious if you have any information about this puzzle or the company who made them as well as how old this partucular puzzle might be.

Thank you for your time,
from Jim McW--17 November 2004:
Anne Williams in her book, Jigsaw Puzzles: An Illustrated History and Price Guide, says that Motif published wooden puzzles during the 1930's.
The specially shaped pieces are often called "figurals" or, in the U.K., "whimsies". They are very popular and always a delight, but not, technicaly speaking, unique. Many puzzles have featured figural pieces, especially wooden puzzles. In fact, some of the vintage puzzles we offer on our SALE pages have figural pieces. [See "Reading Tyndale's Bible" and "Too Late", for instance.]
By the way, there seems to have been more than one puzzle of that title.:
Three Graces"Three Graces", by F.X. SCMIDTM
Jim McW
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[1353]from "AH"--15 November 2004:
We have a puzzle by T. Crane called "Communing With Nature", but ours is by Saalfield Publishing Company from Akron, Ohio.
model #1849, apparently produced in about 1944, if the model number sequence is accurate.
It is fairly complete but well used. It is 16"x20".
Kent State U owns the bankruptcy materials and skips our model number. Any information on Mr. Crane would be appreciated.
from Jim McW--17 November 2004:
Here's some pictures of puzzles based on Crane's artwork:
Communing With Nature"Communing With Nature", TUCO.
Soldier's Dream"Soldier's Dream", TUCO.
"The First Snowfall", TUCO.
"Peaceful Valley", TUCO.
Golden Twilight"Golden Twilight", TUCO.
See also no. 1178, Page 75, for a brief discussion of Crane and another puzzle based on his work.
Jim McW
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[1354]from "TH"--17 November 2004:
Hello, I'm a huge Prince Valiant collector.
Built-Rite made several sta-n-place puzzles in 1954.
Is there any way to find out how many different puzzles were made in conjunction with the prince valiant movie ?
I have 3 different puzzles ( thinking I had them all ) and just found and won another puzzle on an internet auction.
Each seems to be number 137 Built-Rite.
#1. Prince Valiant and his son Arn on horseback with castle in background.
#2. Prince Valiant on his horse coming to an abrupt halt.
#3. Prince Valiant and his wife Aleta holding baby Arn with small goofy animals all around them.
#4. Prince Valiant, Aleta and Indian hand maiden brushing Aletas hair, Val holding baby Arn, castle in background ( this is the one i just found )
I've spent several hours looking across the internet and could not find an index to the Built-Rite line. Any help would be hugely appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
from Jim McW--18 November 2004:
I am most sympathetic, since I, too, I am a big Prince Valiant fan, since early childhood. Unfortunately, it is very hard to find any index to the products of any puzzle producer. It is possible to acquire old catalogs occasionally, although we have been able to do this only rarely.
We have very little information on Built-Rite, other than what we have already, at the top of our Built-Rite" page. In fact, we were unaware of the series you describe!
Can anyone provide more information about this series or about Prince Valiant collectibles, in general?
Jim McW
from "TH"--18 November 2004:
Here are the 4 prince valiant puzzles , again each seems to be #137.
Prince Valiant"Prince Valiant", riding horse.
Prince Valiant and Arn"Prince Valiant and young Arn", riding horses.
Prince Valiant and Aleta"Prince Valiant and Aleta"
Prince Valiant, Aleta, maiden, and baby Arn"Prince Valiant, Aleta, maiden, and baby Arn"
from "TH"--18 November 2004:

Prince Valiant Collectables

99% of these are in my collection. I realize I am missing a few of these items and have listed them. If anyone needs images please let me know.
Happy collecting, if anyone has something I don't list please let me know.

This will be broken into 4 categories:
#A before 1954
#B 1954 Movie release
#C 1954-to now
#D Miscellaneous.
This will make sense when you view the collectable list. "TH"

#A Everything before 1954
1. 1944 Syroco wood composite 5" figure of Val
2. 1945 "The Young Knight, a tale of medieval times" book
3. 1946 "A Christmas Carol" book illustrations by Foster one image of Val
4. 1946 Feature comics #26 complete comic reprinting newspaper storyline
5. 1947 "Prince Valiant and the Outlaws" RCA records
6. 1952 Banshee Awards foldout (Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year)
7. 1952 Special Souvenir box set of Hastings House Books 1 and 2
8. 1951-60 Hasting House books (reprinted by Nostalgia Press in 1970's)
9. 1951 King Features Christmas Card (Val and Gawain)

#B 1954 Movie Release
1. Coloring book
2. Prince Valiant and Princess Aleta paper dolls
3. School bags and leather brief cases
4. Prince valiant board game of Valor
5. Prince Valiant crossbow pistol game
6. Marx toys tin shield
7. Marx toys singing sword and jeweled scabbard
8. Marx toys tin shield of King Arthur with a small image of Val on horseback
9. Dime bank
10. Prince Valiant small treasure books
11. Marx Prince Valiant play set
12. Prince Valiant bow and arrow set
13. Movie press Kit
14. Movie posters (full sheet, Ĺ sheet, lobby cards)
15. (The following - I have never seen any, and this info comes from the Movie press kit guide)
   15a.Playsuits, Masquerade costumes, Armor suits, t-shirts, sweat shirts
   15b.Toy-rubber balloons
   15c. Prince Valiant Candy and Surprise package
   15d. Sheet Music

#C 1954 to now
1. 1955 Prince Valiant Color and Re-Color book
2. Dell Comics #567,650,699,719,788,848 and 900
3. The Medieval castle book (distributed to school libraries only - very rare) 1957
4. 1967 Mardi Gras doubloon New Orleans giveaway
5. 4 Nostalgia Press Hardback books reprints
6. Prince Valiant and the days of King Arthur 331/3 RPM Record by Leo records (I believe 70's)
7. The Prince Valiant Scrapbook 1981 (limited to 1500 copies)
8. 1982+ Manuscript press 3 books Full size newspaper reprints of the 1st 3 years
9. Fantagraphic books 1-50 (entire Prince Valiant by Foster reprinted)(1984-2004}
10. 1992 a Prince Valiant Companion (great index of the storyline good art examples} by Manuscript Press
11. USPS stamp (Val was one of the cartoonist stamps)
12. Refrigerator magnet of the USPS stamp
13. 2000 dark horse sculptures Val Figure (Tin box, figure and pin)
14. Several posters reprinting different pages, including pg 2000 and 3000
15. 2000 several t-shirts by fantagraphics
16. 2000 rubber ink stamp
17. 2002 Prince Valiant full size metal helmet, shield and sword and scabbard
18. There have been other Prince Valiant items but these are not by Hal Foster, and I didn't list them.

#D Miscellaneous
1. Original artwork
2. Personal holiday cards from the Foster
3. Specialty artwork
4. And of course the actual Sunday pages from 1937- to still being printed today
5. Prince Valiant pep pin (I think for the 1940's but not sure)

from Anne Williams--30 October 2005:

Warren's Built-Rite Junior Picture Puzzle series also included six different Prince Valiant" puzzles in 1954 and 1955. Each had 100 pieces and came in a box that showed a portion of the picture on the cover. One is illustrated in Figure 13-47 of my first book, The Jigsaw Puzzle: An Illustrated History and Price Guide. Anne Williams (
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[1355]from "WW"--17 November 2004:
RE: No. 271, Page 19
My daughter has this very puzzle. It is titled " Hold It " . She has it put together and wants to frame it also.
Do you know what the date of production is? She got it from my parents, her grand parents. The number on the box is 4962 - c
from Jim McW--18 November 2004:
The series number refers to a MB Big Ben puzzle, almost certainly. If the puzzle has approximately 1000 pieces, that would be additional evidence to that effect. I would guess the 1940's or 1950's, from what little you say, but you may want to visit the Big Ben website, to look for similar box designs, in order to estimate the age of the puzzle.
Jim McW
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[1356]from "WW"--17 November 2004:
My daughter brought a Tuco interlocking picture puzzle by the [house?] that she received from my parents. It is a Tuco Elite #1500:98 tripl-thick made of upson laminated wood fiber board, subject EARLY SPRING over 500 peices. We have looked on your web site for information about this puzzle, but had no success. Any information you could share with us would be greatly appreciated.
Thanking you in advance
from Jim McW--18 November 2004:
We would guess that the puzzle dates from the 1950's or 1960's. If the picture is a rustic cottage with a young woman and ducks near a pond or creek, we have seen the picture, but not this particular puzzle.
Jim McW
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[1357]from "KD"--20 November 2004:
Hi there
I just purchased this in an internet auction and, despite being described as complete, when made up, there are some thirteen pieces missing. Is there an easy way to make replacement pieces? Are you aware of another copy of this puzzle for sale anywhere? Any advice would be appreciated. I have the option of a refund , but it is a great picture despite the missing pieces.

Kind regards
from Jim McW--20 November 2004:

The chances of finding another copy of this puzzle are not bad, but it might require a diligent search over some months, keeping an eye on internet auctions.
Even if you do find another copy, it is not certain that the cut and register would be the same as your puzzle. That is to say, the pieces might have been cut differently or the picture might have been positioned differently, relative to the cutting die. The replacement pieces might then not look right.
Now, it is possible for a person who is handy at crafts to make very good replacement pieces. See some of the popular puzzle books for tips. You might use sheets of artboard, or even wood, of the same thickness as your puzzle.
The artboard can be cut with an X-Acto knife to the right shape, then colored with art pencils or paints to match the surrounding pieces. This is easier when the piece is a plain piece of blue sky but a little more difficult for pieces such as those missing in your puzzle. If there is a guide picture on the box, in color, you may be able to take a high-resolution photo of it and print it out at the same size as the puzzle picture. Then you can cut out the pieces from the picture and paste them on the pieces. I am not claiming that any of these solutions is ideal or easy !!
Jim McW
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[1358]from "TC"--8 November 2004:
I have a children's puzzle.
I have attached a copy of one of the puzzles.
Cowboys"Cowboys", Consolidated Paper Box Co.

The side of the box shows the following information:

Children's Puzzles
Number 200
Made in U.S.A.
Consolidated Paper Box Co.
Somerville, Mass
The front of the box shows the following:
Jig-Cut-Nearly 100 Pieces
Two Interesting Pictures

The first puzzle is one that says COWBOYS and shows two little boys on horses riding around with a lasso on a country hill side.
The second puzzle is a picture of various farm animals running around. A dog named Puppy Sam, who is riding a chicken, is suppose to be the traffic signal for all the farm animals. There is a small << SAFETY >> story printed on the puzzle itself.
I am trying to find out the history of these puzzles or of the Consolidated Paper Box Co. Which, I haven't been very successful at. Please advise if you can help.

from Jim McW--21 November 2004:
If you can locate a copy of Anne Williams's book, Jigsaw Puzzles: An Illustrated History and Price Guide, you will find quite a bit of information about Consolidated, which, she says, "...usually marketed children's puzzles in boxed sets of two to six puzzles."
You can also read about the company in her newly released bookThe Jigsaw Puzzle: Piecing Together a History, which you can find at major bookstores everywhere, as well as at some of the internet puzzle stores [see our LINKS page].
Consolidated also produced the Perfect Picture puzzles and probably other brands of jigsaw puzzles.
Jim McW
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[1359]from Nancy Ballhagen--6 November 2004:
Hi again Jim,
I have a question to post on the Q & A section.
In looking through Anne's book there is a picture out of Citizen Kane, with his wife working one of the wooden puzzles and Kane looking on. The questions I have are:
1. Does anyone know who cut the puzzles used in the movie?
2. Do they still exist?
3. Were they hand cut or commercially made.
Or any other information about those particular puzzles.
I have always wondered about this. If anyone out there knows anything about those puzzles it would be very interesting to hear about it.
from Jim McW--24 November 2004:
[Ref: Anne Williams' new book, The Jigsaw Puzzle, Piecing Together a History]
You know, I have wondered the same thing about the puzzle in Citizen Kane, as well about the puzzle in The Cincinnati Kid. By the way, we believe the name of the actress who played Kane's wife was Dorothy Comingore. Can anyone identify the puzzles in question? Any suggestions for avenues of investigation?
One of the many things on my to-do list has been to make up a list of movies, television shows, and books in which jigsaw puzzles appear. For instance:
One of our favorite series on television is Monk. In one episode, Monk is struggling with his compulsive neatness in helping with a jigsaw puzzle, when he suddenly receives an insight from the nature of the jigsaw pieces into the nature of one of the clues in the murder mystery upon which he is working.
Jim McW
from Jim McW--8 December 2004:
I found one source which says the subject of the huge jigsaw puzzle Susan Kane was assembling before the fireplace is a scenic landscape, perhaps representing her "window on the world" in that palace of magnificent isolation.
Jigsaw puzzles apparently represent a more prominent element in the film than I had noticed. Mrs. Kane is seen assembling other puzzles in later scenes, Kane questions her "habit" of doing puzzles, and she says she does them not out of habit, but " 'cause I like it".
Near the end of the movie, after Kane is dead, there is a sort of tour of the vast collections of Kane's estate, which include Mrs. Kane's many, many jigsaw puzzles.

The film seems to compare Kane, his life, and the mystery of "Rosebud" with - a jigsaw puzzle.

Jim McW
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[1360]from "MS", from Germany--21 November 2004:
RE: No. 532, Page 38

Hello Jim McW, PM and "anon",

my name is ________ from Mainz, near Frankfurt in Germany. I'm searchin the net for information on a historical puzzle that once seems to having been acquired in Switzerland when my grandma attended school there.

So I am amazed to find that there is a page on historical puzzles in www... In no. 532, "PM", from England, answers anon's question on Penelope puzzles. The piece we found in our grandma's belongings is never used but looks old, though.

300 pieces of wood in a hardcover box, 38x28cm, a scene from a coach passing an arch in a 18th century surrounding entitled "The mail coach". Definitely no toy designed for children but for adults.

I'd be very glad if anyone could help me with information on that or even provide a contact to Penelope/Aigle/CH who still seem to produce toys but do not seem to have an internet entry.

Thank you for your help and greetings from Mainz. Maybe I ask my boys to do the puzzle this afternoon instead of watching soccer bundesliga.
Or, more promising, afterwards.
from Jim McW--24 November 2004:
After trying for years, we finally acquired two fine Penelope puzzles recently. We still know relatively little about this puzzle maker. We will continue to search for more information.
Jim McW
from Anne Williams--30 October 2005:

Penelope Company has been making puzzles since the 1920s. It still produces wood puzzles in a sheltered workshop, and now has a cardboard puzzle line. Address is Chemin du Lieugex 12 , CH-1860 Aigle, Switzerland. Phone is 024 468 00 80. See Anne Williams (
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[1361]from "DA"--28 October 2004:
Do you have any of Ruth E. Newton's books?
Or do you know anything about the illustrator?Thanks,
from Jim McW--6 November 2004:
We found little information in our data banks, except that her artwork was very popular in children's literature c. the 1930's and 1940's.
Jim McW
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[1362]from "BP"--19 November 2004:

My name is ______. Iím a retired high school Spanish teacher (37 years in the same school) who dug up an old puzzle of mine and put it together. I then got to wondering how old it was so I went online and found your website. Itís very informational and well put together. The puzzle Iím referring to is one that Iíve had since my youth: Signing the Declaration of Independence. Itís a yellow box. On the left, Big Ben is in red and has serifs. The Big Ben Clock is on the box as is the Milton Bradley logo. It does not have the silver stripe down the left side. The box is undated. Based on your comments I would guess that this puzzle dates back to the late forties or early fifties. Do you agree with this estimate?

Thanks for the website and have a good day!

from Jim McW--24 November 2004:
We agree, with the reservation that it is only an estimate. Be sure and view Richard Ballhagen's Big Ben site for more guidance on the subject. Much of the dating guidance and some of the pictures on our own Big Ben page are by his courtesy.
Jim McW
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[1363]from "DG"--24 November 2004:
I hope you can help.

Have you ever heard of, or seen -
the puzzle was 1000+ pcs. It was a black and white (to color in with magic marker when complete)

T'was the night before Christmas... around the border (script) and scenes depicted within the puzzle of the different portions of the story.

Mom & Pop peering out the window, across the top was Santa, being pulled by the reindeers, centre of the puzzle was the children sleeping with sugar plums over their heads. A tree with presents, a dog a cat.

I have been looking for this puzzle for the last 15 years. Was received as a gift, we put it together and colored in over the year, and before I had a chance to frame it, it was destroyed in a move.

If you know of anyone that might be able to help, please let me know.

Thank you,
from Jim McW--21 April 2007:
Here's a picture which sounds a little similar (but I don't think this is it):
Visions of Sugarplums" Visions of Sugarplums ", by Chris Davenport, AMERICAN PUBLISHING COMPANYTM, 550 pieces, 1987. ***************
from "KL"-- 22 December 2010:

Merry Christmas!

I colored and own this puzzle. Our family has assembled it every Christmas. Currently, it takes a couple hours. The picture posted is a colored version of the puzzle requested. Yet, it is not the same as the colored portion on the puzzle box; Santa has blue jeans. Maybe the one you pictured was the winner! I purchased it from Carson-Pirie-Scott in 1985 at their third floor 'dock sale' at Lakehurst Mall in Waukegan, Illinois. I am also seeking another.

Here is the info from the box: (c)1984 Great American Puzzle Factory, 230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas', Jigsaw Puzzle by Chris Davenport, Over 1000 pieces, puzzle size about 20" x 27", Made in U.S.A.
There was a coloring contest which ended Feb 10, 1985. I would love more information.

"KL" [also posted as no. 2134] ***************
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[1364]from "MC"--24 November 2004:
I have a photo of our family completing a round puzzle in the mid 1950s, in Ireland, and I would love to replace it. It consisted of pictures of the British Royal Family, with Elizabeth's Coronation photo in the middle. Have you ever seen this puzzle?
from Jim McW--25 November 2004:
Is this the one ? :
Coronation of Elizabeth II"Coronation of Elizabeth II", WADDINGTON CIRCULAR PUZZLE, c. 1953.
Can anyone identify other puzzles which might fit the same description?
Jim McW
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[1365]from "IAG"--29 November 2004:

I have a plywood Victory Jig-Saw puzzle made in England. It is signed Micklew Right. 25 pcs.
sheepsheep, VICTORY Domestic Animal Series.
Do you know the year of this puzzle. Thanks in advance!
from Jim McW--30 November 2004:
We think no earlier than the late 1940's, and more probably the 1950's or 1960's.
Also, the signature looks as though it might more likely be Micklewright.
Jim McW
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[1366]from "JL"--29 November 2004:
I picked up my latest puzzle at a garage sale and was hoping to find out any more info on it. It has to be one of the oldest I have done.

It is from Drury Lane Jigsaw Puzzles 1000 pc. from the Milton Bradley Company Springfield, Mass. It is two puzzles in one, with the titles "Autumn Along the Seine" and "Snowcapped Rockies", no. 4791.
Thanks for any info you may be able to provide me with.

- "JL"
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This is PAGE EIGHTY-FIVE of the Questions and Answers section of

Chris McCann's book,Master Pieces: the Art History of Jigsaw Puzzles.

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