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Thursday, 9 December 2010

Valentine's Wooden Puzzles

The Valentine Company was set up in 1851 by James Valentine in Dundee and became Scotland's most prominent photographic company. Using pictures from in-house artists and photographers, the company produced postcards at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Greetings cards and calendars followed on but it was the mid 1930's before jigsaw production began. The cutting of Valentine's wooden puzzles is difficult to research but like so many other printing companies at the time, this task may have been outsourced. Waddingtons took over the company in 1963 and sold it on to Hallmark Cards of the USA in 1980. The Dundee premises finally closed in 1993.
In this post (8th December 2010), I have included two photographs of Valentine's wooden jigsaws from my collection. Strangely, both are untitled, although superbly boxed. I will show a picture of a third Valentine's puzzle from my collection, in a future post.

The first pic shows a 60-piece puzzle from an Alan Anderson painting, featuring an interesting 'Streak'. Gresley 'A4' class No.4495 is shown liveried in 'Garter Blue'. Apparently when this locomotive emerged in 1937 it was painted in 'Apple Green' but was returned to Doncaster almost immediatley to be repainted in 'Garter Blue' to match the coaching stock of a special, new express. The original name of Great Snipe was also changed to Golden Fleece. The engine was one of two chosen to head the train to be named the 'West Riding Limited'. The latter was originated at the behest of Yorkshire woollen merchants so that they could quickly access the London Wool Exchange, and return in a single day; hence the change of locomotive name. The express ran Bradford & Leeds to Kings Cross and return, and a special poster was produced by the LNER.
Pic number two is far easier to 'read'. BR class 'A4', No.60034 Lord Faringdon, in 'BR Blue' livery is shown heading BR 'blood and custard' coaches, exiting Kings Cross for the East Coast Main Line. The puzzle comprises 180 pieces and is reproduced from an original T.E. North painting.
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