Puzzle: Hilton Head Lighthouse

: 504 pieces
Dimensions: 27.3cm x 45.7cm
Producer: Mega, Encore! series
Location: Hilton Head is a resort town (located on an island of the same name on the Atlantic Ocean) in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. The island gets its name from Captain William Hilton. In 1663, Captain Hilton identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound, which he named “Hilton’s Head” after himself. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Coliseum, Rome, Italy

: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69cm x 39.37cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, Wonders of the World series
Location: The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin: Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian: Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.

Occupying a site just east of the Roman Forum, its construction started between 70 and 72 AD under the emperor Vespasian and was completed in 80 AD under Titus, with further modifications being made during Domitian’s reign (81–96 AD). The name “Amphitheatrum Flavium” derives from both Vespasian’s and Titus’s family name (Flavius, from the gens Flavia).

Capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. [Wiki]

Puzzle: The Sleepy Shopkeeper by Mike Wilks

: 550+ pieces
Dimensions: 46cm x 61cm
Producer: Great American Puzzle Factory
Author: Mike Wilks (b. 1947, London) is an artist, illustrator and author of nine books including the global bestseller The Ultimate Alphabet (Pavilion Books, 1987). [Wiki]
Note: Puzzle within a puzzle – find over 1000 things that begin with the letter “S”. “Who would think that here in the nooks and crannies of the sleepy shopkeeper’s store would be over 1,000 subjects starting with the letter “S”?   Sure – there’s a skeleton, a sailboat and some spectacles, but where’s the snake and the sled and the ship? You’ll enjoy this double challenge as you find all the “S” items and put them in to place to form a spectacular puzzle.” [Puzzle page]

Puzzle: A Court Reception

Puzzle without any missing pieces:

: 650+ pieces, 3 pieces missing, 3 pieces damaged. Update: Sincere thank you to Cliff from Albany, NY who sent me the missing 3 pieces. His puzzle was missing 5 different pieces, and so between the two of us we could put together a complete one.
Dimensions: 48.26cm round
Producer: Jaymar Specialty Co.
Piece: Adaptation of a porcelain plate decoration, Chinese, K’ang Hsi Period (1662-1772), The Metropolitan Museum of Art
History: The Kangxi Emperor (4 May 1654 – 20 December 1722) was the third emperor of the Qing Dynasty and the second Qing emperor to rule over China proper, from 1661 to 1722.

Kangxi’s reign of 61 years makes him the longest-reigning Chinese emperor in history (although his grandson, the Qianlong Emperor, had the longest period of de facto power) and one of the longest-reigning rulers in the world. However, having ascended to the throne at the age of seven, he was not the effective ruler until later, with that role temporarily fulfilled for six years by four regents and his grandmother, the Grand Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang.

Kangxi is considered one of China’s greatest emperors. He suppressed the Revolt of the Three Feudatories, forced the Kingdom of Tungning on Taiwan to submit to Qing rule, blocked Tzarist Russia on the Amur River and expanded the empire in the northwest. He also accomplished such literary feats as the compilation of the Kangxi Dictionary. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Citadel by Kirwan

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 50.8cm round
Producer: Grand Toys, No. 6191
Artist: Kirwan – His images are political, surrealistic, and humanistic. There are paintings, book covers, cards, calendars, architectural design, many other illustrations and sculpture. [Kirwan Studios site]
Drawing: Citadel, ©1978 and 1994. 36″ round, oil on canvas over wood.
Box: photo

Puzzle: Grand Teton

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 48.26cm x 35.56cm
Producer: The Canadian Group, Sure-Lox, National Parks series
Location: Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park located in northwestern Wyoming, south of Yellowstone National Park. The park is named after the Grand Teton, which, at 4,197 m, is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range.

The origin of the name “Teton” is not definitive. One possible origin is that it was the name given by French trappers in the area. (“Tetons” means breasts in French) Another possible source is that the mountains derive their name from the names of one of tribes in the Sioux Nation. [Wiki]

Puzzle: North Cascades

North Cascades, med
Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 46 cm x 28 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #40790-3, #40299W-98
Photographer: Alamy
Location: North Cascades National Park is a U.S. National Park located in the state of Washington. The park is the largest of the three National Park Service units that comprise the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Several national wilderness areas and British Columbia parkland adjoin the National Park. The park features rugged mountain peaks.

In 1971, the park had 318 glaciers with an area of 117 km², the most of any US park outside Alaska. All the glaciers in the park have retreated significantly from 1980-2005 and the rate is increasing. The recent warmer climate has led to more summer melting and more winter melting events, reducing winter snowpack. Several glaciers in the range have melted away in the last decade. Boston Glacier, on the north slope of Boston Peak, is the largest glacier in the park with an area of 7 km². [Wiki]



Puzzle: Victorian Splendor

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: cm x cm
Producer: Springbok
Poem: If I could select any house in the world
or the dwelling that I would call home,
how quickly I’d pick a Victorian manse,
a house with a high stained-glass dome!

I’d surely want turrets and towers, all rounded
and stretching straight up to the sky,
and right on the top of the tallest of all
my personal banner would fly.

Each window would sing out the artisan’s praise,
beveled panes would be etched with designs
all drawn from the heart of a fantasy world
with the lightest, most delicate lines.

Gingerbread fretwork would grace the veranda
while brass knobs embellished each door,
and mantels of marble from Pisa and Florence
would frame cozy hearths on each floor.

Then down in the garden where roses would wind
’round a latticework trellis just so,
there’s be a gazebo with wicker settees
where I and my callers might go.

And just for the times when I need to retreat
and leave behind everyday cares,
I’d have a small room just for daydreaming in
at the top of some steep, hidden stairs.

Yes, if I could choose any house in the world,
I know that’s just what it would be —
a showplace designed in Victorian times,
the perfect relection of me!

[Hazel Haupt, puzzle box]

Puzzle: After the Shower by Kevin Daniel

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72cm x 60.96cm
Producer: Karmin International
Artist: Kevin Daniel
About the Artist: When Kevin Daniel began dabbling in paints and completing portraits as a young man in the early 1960s, he had no thought that he was nurturing the beginnings of a profession that would last a lifetime. As he studied the Renaissance masters’ paintings and portraits from books and museums, his thoughts were only on how much he enjoyed doing it.

In his twenties, this Minnesota native began concentrating on painting animals and wildlife, discovering that people really appreciated the realism and natural beauty he brought to his subjects. He painted wildlife in natural settings, bringing the viewer into remote scenes untouched by humankind.

Now Kevin has returned to the romantic creativeness of the masters’ portraits he studied as a teen. He has turned his camera on family and friends to feature real people in his paintings.

Kevin has become increasingly interested in children as subjects for his portraits because he senses in them an innocence and carefree existence that is readily identifiable. Kevin recalls real life situations to bring the most honesty he can to his imagined settings. If people feel as excited about viewing his paintings as he does when creating them, he is satisfied. [Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Basler Stadtplan von Matthäus Merian, Historisches Museum Basel

City Map of Basel by Matthäus Merian, 1615-17
Size: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 49cm x 36cm
Producer: Historical Museum Basel
Story: “Since it was executed by Matthäus Merian in 1615 and presented to Basel’s City Council, the large map of the city of Basel, a handcolored pen-and-ink drawing now housed in the Historical Museum, has always been greatly admired. Its correct reproduction of numerous details that have since disappeared make the map an incomparable document on the image of the 17th-century city.

Careful observation will reveal that this is not only an artistic work but one based on geometry as well, a fact alluded to by the compass drawn in on the scale of measure. If one follows Merian’s career, however, it would seem that there was no time available to him for this kind of work. Born in 1593, Merian went to Zurich when he was 16 years old to be educated under the engraver and painter Dietrich Meyer. After his apprenticeship Merian traveled to Nancy and then to Paris where he worked out a map for the city of Paris in 1615. When then could he have surveyed the city of Basel? I make bold to assume that Merian’s city map took Hans Bock’s survey, commissioned by the government in 1588, as its basis. This assumption in no way diminished Matthäus Merian’s great contribution in service to his native city.” [From F.Burchhardt. Über Pläne und Karten des Baselgebietes aus dem 17.Jahrhundert (On 17th-century maps and plans of the area in and around Basel)]

The large city map was published in 1615/17 as an etching on four plates. It is 72.5 cm. high and 109 cm. wide. © Historical Museum Basel 1998.

Puzzle: Liguria, Italy

: 500 pieces
Dimensions: 35cm x 48cm
Producer: Canada Games, Windsor
Location: Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy, the third smallest of the Italian regions. Liguria borders France to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. It lies on the Ligurian Sea. Liguria is a narrow strip of land, enclosed between the sea and the Alps and the Apennines mountains, it is a winding arched extension from Ventimiglia to La Spezia.

The capital Genoa, one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and home to Christopher Columbus, was already a powerful maritime state in the Middle Ages. Liguria is where pesto  is originally from, one of the most popular sauces in Italian cuisine. Seafood is a major staple of Ligurian cuisine, as the sea has been part of the region’s culture since its beginning. Another important aspect of the culture there is the beach. Tourists have been flocking to the Italian Riviera for decades to experience its calm, deep blue water. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Dromoland Castle, Ireland

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Big Ben
Location: Dromoland Castle is a castle, now a luxury hotel, located near Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare, Ireland. The present building was completed in 1835. However the first building constructed here seems to have been a 15th or early 16th century tower house and is recorded as being erected by Thomas, the son of Shane Mac Anerheny. There were at least three houses on the site, at various times, called Dromoland. While Dromoland later became residence of eight generations of the O’Brien family, early records suggest that the area was also occupied by other local Gaelic families, such as the McInerney family during the 16th century. According to the historian James Frost, Dromoland translates as the “Hill of Litigation”.

Dromoland has been preserved with little change since 1855. The mansion is in “baronial” or “gothic revival” style. It has four linked irregular castellated  turrets. A gothic porch to the north front displays the O’Brien arms. The western portion faces out to the lake, and the east towards the hill where Thomond House now stands. The large walled gardens are to the south. In 1902 the 15th Baron Inchiquin, Lucius, took the old 17th century gateway from Leamaneh and erected it at the entrance to the large walled garden. A long curving drive leads from the gateway and classical lodge, passing north of the lake and round to the front door of Dromoland Castle. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Big Ben
Location: Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. The City of Sheffield is built on seven hills and is near the confluence of five rivers. It is estimated that Sheffield has over two million trees, more per person than any other city in Europe; 61% of the city is green space. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Agawa Canyon, Ontario

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 48.6cm x 73cm
Producer: Sure-Lox
Series: Chateau
Tour train: http://www.agawacanyontourtrain.com/content/tours/canyontour/
Location: The Agawa Canyon is a shallow canyon located deep in the sparsely populated Algoma District in the Canadian province of Ontario. It was created 1.2 billion years ago by faulting along the Canadian Shield and then enlarged by the erosive action of the Agawa River. The Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park is only accessible by hiking trail or the Algoma Central Railway, and is located 114 rail miles north west of Sault Ste. Marie. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Generalife, Granada, Spain

: 1000 pieces, 1 missing
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Big Ben
Location: The Palacio de Generalife (Arabic: Jannat al-‘Arif’ – Architect’s Garden) was the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid Emirs of the Emirate of Granada, now beside the city of Granada in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.

The palace and gardens were built during the reign of Muhammad III (1302–1309) and redecorated shortly after by Abu I-Walid Isma’il (1313–1324).

The complex consists of the Patio de la Acequia (Court of the Water Channel or Water-Garden Courtyard), which has a long pool framed by flowerbeds, fountains, colonnades and pavilions, and the Jardín de la Sultana (Sultana’s Garden or Courtyard of the Cypress). The former is thought to best preserve the style of the medieval garden in Al-Andalus. [Wiki]


Puzzle: Decorative plates, Cancún, Mexico

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Big Ben
Location: Cancún is a coastal city in Mexico’s easternmost state, Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula. As a rapidly growing city with a quickly changing skyline, the estimated population for Cancún is 705,000 in 2010 an increase 20% from the census in 2005. Cancún is located on the Yucatan Channel that separates Mexico from the island of Cuba in the Greater Antilles. The Cancún region is sometimes known as the Mexican Caribbean or the Mayan Riviera. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Villandry Castle, Indre-et-Loire, France

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 51.12cm x 66.52cm
Producer: Big Ben
Location site: http://testvillandry.ecritel.net/
Location: The lands where an ancient fortress once stood were known as Colombier until the 17th century. Acquired in the early 16th century by Jean Le Breton, France’s Controller-General for War under King Francis I, a new château was constructed around the original 14th-century keep where King Philip II of France once met Richard I of England to discuss peace.

In 1906, Joachim Carvallo  purchased the property and poured an enormous amount of time, money and devotion into repairing it and creating what many consider to be the most beautiful gardens anywhere. Its famous Renaissance  gardens include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. The gardens are laid out in formal patterns created with low box hedges. In 1934, Château de Villandry was designated a Monument historique. Like all the other châteaux of the Loire Valley, it is a World Heritage Site. [Wiki]