Wooden Puzzles

Puzzle Series: Wooden Puzzles- Mark Geis’ Favorite Puzzles Part 3

I want to thank Mark Geis again for sharing his wonderful collection of puzzles with us all. If you’ve missed the other parts of this series, you can find them here:

Part 1

Part 2

All of the following words and photos in this post and the other posts in this portion of the series are from Mark.

Madge Evans

371 pieces, 16 1/8” x 22 1/8”, cut October 1st, 1943

This puzzle features a duotone photo of Madge Evans, a stage and film actress. Puzzle made by Forrest Dow with incredibly intricate cutting. Some of the pieces have been take out to show the wide variety of shapes in the puzzle. It was almost like having every piece in the puzzle a figural piece. Note that Marge Evans face was cut as a single piece which helps to focus attention on her face. The puzzle has such a solid fit that you can pick up the whole puzzle by picking up one corner of the puzzle. 

The Quiet Way

750 pieces, 24 1/2” x 15 1/2”, circa 1940s

This puzzle has gorgeous colors, great figure pieces and intricate cutting style. Par puzzles are often described as the Roll Royce of the puzzle business. The original owners had some Broadway contacts and developed a clientele of the rich and famous including Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe. One of their most famous clients was the Duke of Windsor who requested that they cut the family crest and his four cairn terriers in all his puzzles.

In Old Pompeii

401 pieces, 20” circle, circa 1950s

Excellent color line cutting with painting by Emilio Vasarri. Pastime Puzzles, often have color line cutting and feature figural pieces (an animal, person, geometric shape, numbers, etc.) which make them very fun to assemble. Pastime later developed the ratio of 12 figural pieces for every 100 pieces, so a 400 piece puzzle would have 48 figure pieces. Pastime copyrighted over 400 of their figural pieces in 1932. This is probably my first or second choice as the best puzzle in my collection. I love the image, the cutting and the round format of this puzzle (which is unusual for Pastime Puzzles). 

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