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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Two Old Wooden Jigsaws

This post, 29th May 2014, comprises two photographs of wooden jigsaw puzzles which occur infrequently on the secondary market

The first picture features a jigsaw of 80-pieces replicating an original illustration by A. Chigley. The label on the box reads 'The Arrow Series' but I'm not sure if this is the brand or series name. A title is also absent. The wooden puzzle is of excellent quality and shows a 4-4-0 locomotive originally designed by Harry Wainwright for the South East & Chatham Railway (SE&CR). The Wainwright designs were further modified, eventually by his successor as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the SE&CR, Richard Maunsell in 1913, and put into production. The Maunsell designs included No.781 shown in the jigsaw picture but this locomotive was one of ten built by the Borsig company of Berlin, incorporating some German ideas. They arrived in kit form and were assembled at Ashford Works. (Twelve were also built in Britain by Beyer Peacock). The locomotive was withdrawn from service in 1959 and later, scrapped.

The attractive puzzle picture shows the locomotive heading green passenger stock on a main line, passing under a road bridge with parts of a signal box included on the left and a signal on the right.

A fine, steam train jigsaw of 329 pieces titled Wyvern Express is shown in the second picture.The wooden puzzle was originally from the Tanglewood Jigsaw Club. It is packed in a cloth bag printed with the club name, puzzle title, number of pieces and size. Each piece has been painstakingly stamped on the back with the puzzle's code number so if a piece went astray one could tell instantly which puzzle it belonged to. As usual with a jigsaw club puzzle, a reference picture is not provided. I have found it difficult to research Tanglewood Jigsaw Club puzzles but a Mrs Barclay crops up occasionally. Was she possibly the president of the club? Was she also a jigsaw cutter? Both "push fit" and "interlocking" puzzles were made. They were never sold in boxes only bags and no picture to help as described above. Vintage puzzles date c1930 to about 1960.

The jigsaw picture features a Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) locomotive of 1914, a class '7F', 2-8-0 design of Henry Fowler. The S&DJR was owned by the Midland, and London and South Western Railways. I can find little information on a 'Wyvern Express'. I suspect it is a Heritage Railway title as the locomotive in the picture, No.13809, is preserved on the Midland Railway at Butterley (No.53809). Another photograph on the Internet features the ex LMS Fowler class '4F' 0-6-0 tender locomotive, No.4027, displaying a 'Wyvern Express' headboard. Another  Internet picture shows a GWR pannier tank 0-6-0 locomotive with the headboard 'The Wessex Wyvern'.

If anyone has any information about the points raised in these jigsaw puzzles, please contact me - my email address is at the top of the blog.