An extremely rare Georgian dissected puzzle depicting historical events from 1066 to the death of Nelson. This puzzle was displayed in Colchester Castle Museum for a number of years and is a very rare survivor.
It comes in its original mahogany box with the label intact on the lid. The label states "The Principal Events in the History of England to the reign of George III d.'
Underneath it says The characters in each event are represented in the appropriate costumes of the different periods.
Remarkably all the pieces of the puzzle still remain and are in good condition with just a couple of the interlocking lobs missing. To the base of the puzzle it has the makers name William Darton, Joe Harvey and Sam Darton, published December 1st 1815.
William Darton set up his own publishing house at 56 Holborn Hill London in 1808.
Whats nice about this puzzle in particular is that there is a picture and then writing about the picture for each piece. It ends with the death of Nelson which must have been the last memorable event before this puzzle was made.
Dissected puzzles were the forerunners to jigsaws. They were made by placing a picture on a piece of mahogany and cutting it into shapes. The edge pieces interlock and the middle pieces just push together.They only started to make these puzzles around the 1760s and were costly and time consuming to make. Each piece was hand cut and sometimes coloured and hence these were only affordable to royalty, rich families and elite boarding schools where they were used as educational toys. It was only when jigsaw tools were more intricate interlocking pieces made.