These puzzles all come from my mother's family, from the first decades of the 20th century. They originally came in hand made folded boxes made of strong paper, but when those fell apart, small chocolate boxes were used to keep the pieces safe.
I made a lot of new boxes after the original pattern and copied the hand painted logo to be glued on the lid.
I bet you want to see a hand-made jigsaw puzzle from almost one hundred years ago. Here is a typical one, a landscape picture from a magazine, glued on thick cardboard.
A more exotic looking one, with a tip of one piece fallen off. We used to write on the box bottom if pieces were missing, or tips.
Favourite themes were art reproductions, like The Gleaners by Millet (I had two of these and gave Kaija the other one)
or this Shepherd Boy from Paanajärvi by the Finnish painter Akseli Gallén-Kallela.
Some jigsaws look like illustrations to romantic stories from a ladies' magazine
or this one, The Diva,
and some other are more on the domestic side.
There are unusual shapes, like oval pictures
and unusual shapes of the individual pieces, like in this one:
They were almost impossible to hold in place until a larger area was finished, but the result was this charming picture:
Very few of the pictures are from Finland (the Shepherd boy painting and the gingerbread baking), but at least this one showing people on their way to Christmas church has all the elements of an old fashioned Christmas card.
My mother was not a little child by the time she started building these jigsaw puzzles so there are no children's puzzles here. Four Little Pals would have pleased a child as well, but putting it together is no child's play. My mother used to lift a finished puzzle like this one from one corner, and it would hold together. But it had to be finished, and no pieces missing.
This is the only picture that looks like an illustration from a children's book,and even the sawing is easier than in the other puzzles, where the maker has intentionally chosen tricky lines along a shape in the picture.
I leave you with this dark picture of a young girl. The saw lines remind me of free motion quilting.
More antique jigsaw pleasures on Kaija's blog right now!