Archive for category 1000

When I started this puzzle, I knew that there was a missing piece. It should have 999 pieces, but there were only 998 pieces. Some time ago, when this happened, I used to verify the puzzle a second time. My hope was that I had made a mistake, but the second verification gave always the same result. It was a shame, because this puzzle by Clementoni with a poster of the Moulin Rouge by Toulouse-Lautrec was very unusual. However, after buying more than 200 incomplete puzzles, it is not disappointing anymore. It’s part of what we do at Rare Puzzles: being sure that we only list the complete ones.

Image of the puzzle 1000, Clementoni, Moulin Rouge, by Toulouse-Lautrec, Puzzle Assembled

Initially, I was listing the incomplete puzzles in the online store at very low prices. However, when I decided to start the Missing Pieces replacement service, I thought it was better to keep them, put them together, and offer them for replacements. So, I have accepted the idea that I am now a puzzle enthusiast that will only assemble incomplete puzzles.

Moulin Rouge: La Goulue

That is the complete title of this poster by Toulouse-Lautrec. It was a color lithograph from 1891. Although they printed around 3000 copies, most of them were pasted as advertising posters and are now lost. However, surviving examples remain in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The poster depicts the famous can-can dancer La Goulue and her flexible partner Valentin le Désossé (Boneless Valentin). The artist made it to advertise the popular French club, Moulin Rouge. Their audience appears as silhouettes in order to focus attention on the performers and evoke the Japanese art then in vogue.

The puzzle was very easy. I was fighting hard with the Ravensburger 5000 pieces version of The Night Watch, by Rembrandt. The puzzle was so challenging, that I had to take several breaks and complete smaller puzzles just to feel that I was making some progress. This Moulin Rouge was one of the smaller puzzles that helped me keep going with the large one. It served its purpose and it is now offered for replacements, in case anyone needs a piece from this puzzle.

1000, Clementoni, Moulin Rouge, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 67.7 x 47.7 cm, Reference number 56000.

Image of the puzzle 1000, Clementoni, Moulin Rouge, by Toulouse-Lautrec, Picture of the Box

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The name Brueghel is very popular among puzzle enthusiasts. There are four main painters with this name and they all belong to the same family line: Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and Jan Brueghel the Younger. Very often, the jigsaw manufacturer just includes the name Brueghel as the artist and nothing else. Then, there is no way to know who the real author of the painting is. In the case of this puzzle, the only information in the box is Brueghel, but we have to complete the research and find out that the real title of the painting is Landing Place, and the artist is Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Image of the Puzzle 1000, Flamenco, Landing Place, Complete, Picture of the Puzzle Assembled

Other versions of Landing Place

There are two larger versions of this puzzle. MB manufactured a 3000 pieces version in 1981. However, the title in the box is The Cove, which is, in fact, a small sheltered bay, like the one that appears in the painting. I don’t know what source did MB use to come up with that title. The fact is that there are virtually no references online to The Cove. Two years after the version by MB, Ravensburger published another 3000 pieces version, in 1983. This time, the title was Landing Place, which is the one I have used for this puzzle.

The interesting thing about this 1000 pieces version by Flamenco is the fact that the image appears flipped horizontally. The original has the landing water to the left. It seems that Jan Brueghel the Elder was particularly interested in this subject. There are different works with the title River Landscape with Landing Stage, or similar titles, and they are almost indistinguishable. There is even a 1500 pieces jigsaw puzzle by Falcon with the title River Landscape with a Village and a Landing.

Although this puzzle is probably more than 40 years old, the pieces have some really good quality and they have resisted the passing of time very well, despite the fact that they are thinner than most current puzzles. However, the experience was very positive with this my very first Flamenco puzzle. I hope the new owner will share my experience.

1000, Flamenco, Landing Place, by Jan Brueghel the Elder, 49 x 69 cm, Reference number 1000/1142.

Image of the Puzzle 1000, Flamenco, Landing Place, Complete, Picture of the Box

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Maurits Cornelis Escher is the creator of Concave and Convex, and he is one of the most interesting artists in the 20th century. One may like his paintings or not, but we must all agree that he is unique. In fact, most people are able to identify his work as soon as they see it, even if they don’t know the name of the painter. Perhaps they just know he was the Dutch graphic artist that painted impossible stairs, upside down rooms, strange reflections… However, when they see one work, they know it belongs to him.

For that reason, we can say that he is a quite popular artist. The M.C. Escher Foundation organizes exhibitions with his works regularly, and they always attract thousands of visitors. In fact, there was an exhibition in Madrid in 2017 for 8 months that showed around 200 works by Escher. It was one of the most visited in 2017.

Image of the Assembled Puzzle 1000, Selegiochi, Concave and Convex

Concave and Convex and other dichotomies

Escher got his inspiration partly on Mathematics and Geometry. Symmetry is a constant in the images he invents. For that reason, many of his paintings have a dichotomy in the title, like Concave and Convex in this case. However, we also have Ascending and Descending, High and Low, or Day and Night. His most important works have already a jigsaw puzzle version, which is another symptom of his popularity. Although different brands have manufactured puzzles by M.C. Escher, the Italian company Selegiochi is probably the most important publisher of his puzzles.

This is the first puzzle by M.C. Escher and the first puzzle by Selegiochi that I have put together. The fact that all the pieces have only different shades of black, white, and gray, adds to the challenge of the puzzle. However, since it is only 1000 pieces, the puzzle is quite manageable. The pieces are just slightly thinner than most other brands, but they have good quality, a nice feel to the touch, and fit very well. The design of the die was defective, though.

This was a used puzzle that I had to verify before listing it on Rare Puzzles. When I verified the puzzle, I found many small fragments. Sometimes, when a puzzle piece has very thin links, a part of the piece can break just by the movement of the pieces inside the bag. In the case of this puzzle, there were too many of them, and it was actually a defect from the factory.

That was the reason why I assembled the puzzle in the first place, in order to verify whether it was actually complete or not. The puzzle was complete, because all the pieces were there. Unfortunately, three of those tiny fragments were missing, so the puzzle will be used for replacements, and not listed for sale.

Image of the Puzzle 1000, Selegiochi, Concave and Convex, Missing Fragment

Notice in this photograph how the shapes of two different pieces actually intersect. This is a defect in the design of the die which I had not seen before. Surprisingly, the little tiny fragment was found during the verification process.

Image of the Puzzle 1000, Selegiochi, Concave and Convex, Defective Die

1000, Selegiochi, Concave and Convex, Maurits Cornelis Escher, 52 x 62 cm, No Reference Number.

Image of the Box of the Puzzle 1000, Selegiochi, Concave and Convex

 

 

 

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Educa has a very long tradition of great choices for their jigsaw puzzles, particularly in terms of fine arts puzzles. This 1000 pieces version of The Prophet Daniel, by Michelangelo, is a good example. They manufactured it in the early 80’s. The box corresponds to the design of their earlier puzzles, long before they started to publish them in the beautiful boxes with stripes, or the elegant white box design of the 90’s.

Image of the Assembled Puzzle 1000, Educa, The Prophet Daniel

The Prophet Daniel without the Lions

This fresco painting is part of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo painted a total of 7 prophets from the Old Testament. It was common to represent the figures of the Bible with the attributes that might help people identify them. In the case of the Prophet Daniel, the most important event in the tradition was the fact that they threw him into the den of the lions as a punishment, but an angel saved him. However, in Michelangelo’s portrayal, there is no reference to the lions, which is very interesting. Instead, Michelangelo shows Daniel reading a great book, which is held up by a muscular figure from beneath it.

It is interesting to note that the image of this puzzle corresponds to the painting in the Sistine Chapel before the most recent mayor restoration. Today, the image looks brighter, cleaner, and with much vibrant colors, as Michelangelo painted it.

A Small Puzzle Every Now and Then

When I verified this puzzle, I counted one extra piece that I wasn’t able to detect. For that reason, I decided to assemble it myself, since I loved the image. The previous owner wrote numbers on the back of the pieces, perhaps thinking that he might put it together again. However,  I made the commitment not to cheat, and I completed the puzzle without the hints of the numbers. The pieces were in excellent condition, so I had a great time assembling it. It is unfortunate that the box was not in very good condition.

It took me a couple of days in December of 2017, out of desperation fighting with the 5000 Ravensburger version of The Night Watch. When you are confronted with 4000 dark pieces, you need to complete a small puzzle just to feel that you are making some progress. It was later listed for sale at Rare Puzzles.

1000, Educa, The Prophet Daniel, Michelangelo, 68 x 48 cm, Reference Number 7752.

Image of the Puzzle 1000, Educa, The Prophet Daniel, Picture of the Box

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