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Saturday, 28 July 2018

Two Wooden 'Oldies'

Today's post, 28 July 2018, comprises two photos, each showing an old wooden jigsaw puzzle. The reverse side of the first puzzle is also shown. 

The first, of 100 pieces and titled The 'Torbay Express' drawn by King Richard 1st Engine, was made by Cotswood. A quick look on 'The Jigasaurus' website (link on the right), indicates that this company may have been in production from the 1930's. A 'King' class 4-6-0, locomotive, No. 6027 King Richard 1st, is pictured heading the famous express passenger service along the picturesque south west coastline near Dawlish, a favourite location for many railway artists. The artist is not named in the jigsaw picture. The 'King' class of 4-6-0 locomotives, designed by Charles Collett for the Great Western Railway, were the most powerful 4-6-0 locomotives in Britain. The picture on the right is the reverse of the jigsaw and indicates the pattern used by the stack cutter. A number of jigsaws were cut simultaneously in stacks, with the pinholes in each corner showing where they were fastened together. 

This second picture shows a 250-piece wooden jigsaw titled Merchant Taylors SRy, made by the J Salmon Company under the brand name 'Academy'. A producer of both cardboard and wooden puzzles, the J. Salmon Company was a significant player in the jigsaw industry from the 1920's until the 1950's. The 'Schools' class of 4-4-0 locomotives was designed by the Southern Railway's Chief Mechanical Engineer, Richard Mounsell. They proved to be Europe's most powerful 4-4-0 locomotives and were named after English Public Schools; No.910 Merchant Taylors, was one of 40. The artwork is from the famous 'F. Moore' stable. There was never an artist by this name; a number of artists worked under the 'F. Moore' name, owned by the Locomotive Publishing Company. Thomas Rudd was the most prominent artist but others such as Murray Secretan and Robert Bernard Way were also likely contributors.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Railway Poster Collection

In today's post, 9th July 2018, I am showing two photographs of jigsaws, each featuring a railway poster. The original artwork in both was by Terence Cuneo, two of many railway paintings used by British Railways in this way; many of them by Cuneo. 

Cuneo’s first for BR was produced c1947 (ready for 1948) titled Giants Refreshed. Another fine Cuneo poster c1951 was Forging Ahead, included in the Falcon 500-piece jigsaw Old Advertisements – Transportation, a composite of railway posters and advertisements. Other Cuneo posters for BR include Royal Border Bridge (1946), Talyllyn Railway, (1960’s) and Clapham Junction (1962). From foundation in 1948, British Railways (BR) commissioned a large number of posters. Some posters from Cuneo originals, when appearing at recent auctions, have realised thousands of pounds. 

Scotland For Your Holidays, is a Cuneo poster from 1952. It has been reproduced as a 1000-piece jigsaw by This England Publishing Ltd., as part of The Railway Poster Collection. Oddly, the poster features a Scottish icon - The Forth Railway Bridge, spanning the Firth of Forth. To paint this picture Cuneo was perched on a girder, battered by 50mph gales though wearing many layers of clothing, and frozen to the bone. He survived this ordeal and later, converted his sketches into this marvellous painting. The express train is headed by Gresley 'A4' class 4-6-2 No.60031 Golden PloverThe horizontal direction of the exhaust  is evidence of the gales.

The Royal Albert Bridge Saltash is another superb Cuneo poster from 1959, produced for the Western Region of BR. This poster has also been reproduced as a jigsaw by This England  as part of the same  series. The poster was produced to commemorate the Centenary of the famous Brunel-built bridge. Cuneo tried engine cab rides and bridge walks before finding the ideal spot for his painting. A 'Castle' class 4-6-0 locomotive is depicted heading a passenger service over the single line bridge.