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Please email us if can you answer any of these Questions.

These are queries that arise as we sort through our puzzles
plus a couple from other baffled puzzlers.

K535

A Puzzle Cigarette Box with a Coin inset into the lid.

We think it maybe World War One trench art but are not yet certain.

Can you identify and date the coin which has a diameter of 37mm?

DS identified it as possibly being a Turkish Kuru coin from the late 19th Century. Further searching indicates that it is a silver Turkish 20 Kurush coin from year 9 of the Abdul Halid II Sultanate. AH1293 +9 (CE 1876+9=1885) Constantinople.

P695

Puzzle Cigar Case

This inlay and coin are inset into the lid of a Cigar Case with a puzzle opening.

19mm diameter gold

DS has identified this as an Iranian Half-Toman Coin 1335 (CE 1916)

Can you translate the writing on the wood for us?

 

P891 Manifold Puzzle





THE MANIFOLD PUZZLE.


Can you find the Patent 2118 for us?

or

Do you know of another example of this puzzle?

 

What appears to be silk ribbons have perished and vanished in the last 100-150 years or so.

To restore the puzzle, we need to find patent No.2118.

We have searched 1890 onwards but have not been able to find the patent.

 

 

33x33 Board

WHAT IS THIS 33 x 33 BOARD?

 

 

 

A sturdy well made mahogany board on bun feet 17 x 17 inches with 33 x 33 holes.

Box of curious pegs of which there are 3 main types which we will call Spades, Flags, and Barbs.

Spades Dark 27, Light 44
Flags Dark 32, Light 44
Barbs Dark 19, Light 60 (these are in 2 lengths)
Specials 15 all light., if anything these are better made than the rest. (The three in the left back row of photo 3 have tapered "blades", being sharpest at the top.
The one back right has a circular profile groove on which one could support another peg on its side.

A few of the special pegs have been written on, this looks to have been done so as an afterthought. The writing says:
"fractional line"
"minus"
a divide symbol
a tick - possibly a square root symbol
The peg with the groove on top has an illegible 3 lines: I can only guess "?????? of ??????".

Might it be a game or is it something else.
Any ideas?
-----------------------------------------------------------

2014 May
It has been suggested that it is a Geoboard; however appears too large for a Geoboard which is usually 11x11 or 5x5
see Geoboards at http://oame.on.ca/lmstips/files/Manips/Geoboards.pdf

------------------------------------------------

N386


BISMARCK'S PUZZLE.

 

This appears to be Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).

This suggests it may well be an early way to get around the parity problem inherent in the 15 puzzle.

Without any rules we cannot be certain.


Do you have the original rules for this puzzle?


U510

Follow link to The Mystery of the Sea
N673

"The Great Volunteer Review, 1899". A wonderful 608 piece wooden jigsaw of a bird's-eye view of the British Army parading around Hyde Park, London, prior to departing for the Boer War in South Africa.

The picture has a small numbers printed by each of the regiments; so we want to locate a copy of the key to these.

Do you know where the picture originates ?

Q676

"A Journey to Lindley Murray's" is a jigsaw puzzle and a board game.

This beautiful jigsaw published by Betts around 1849 is also a board game. Each of the vignettes along the track are numbered.

Can you tell us where to find a copy of the rules?

Lindley Murray was a famous American who came to England to teach us grammar.

Nobody solved our Winter 2011 solstice rebus.
Can you?

 

U136

Do you know this sculpture?

Who made it?

When?

 

 

 

Do you recognize the signature below ?

L465

Snuff Coffins

These are well made and well naughty puzzle boxes but who made them and when?

We now know of six examples, so someone had a significant craft business. The most elaborate one has two puzzles and 10 separate or moving parts.

When we have the answers we will feature one as Puzzle of the Month.

An old take on health warnings - Smoking will damage your health. Lots of double-entendres here:
Take snuff and likewise you may "snuff it" and then you will become a stiff un.

Does the style of writing help you date them?

A


 

 

This three-piece ivory puzzle has six animal heads

We hoped that, if we knew what the animals were, we might be able to deduce where the puzzle came from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the help from observant visitors, we appear to have:

On the left:

  • Leopard
  • Bullock
  • Elephant with broken trunk

On the right:

  • Horse
  • Rhino (One-horned from Perak (spotted by JR in 2013)
  • Not sure about the lower right beastie. JR thinks it may be a heraldic tiger - Any better suggestions?


 

B

 

 

 

This Stabbing Game or Dexterity puzzle came from the Eileen Scott collection in the 1970s. Both she and we think the figure looks as if it came from Easter Island or Africa.

Can you identify the style?

Where does it originate?

 

 

 

 

C

This is probably a crochet hook.

Do you know when and where it was made?

 


D

 

What is this? Is it a thread winder?

 

E

 

What is this?

A tiny deer on the end of an ivory stick. The deer's head is attached with a springy bristle so it moves.

 

 

F

 

What are these curious ivory items?

Are they a demonstration of the carver's skills or are they part of an elaborate game of Spillikins?

 

G

We would have little doubt that these were bodkin needles except for the fact that they were found, individually, included in different sets of Spillikins.

Are they bodkins, if so from where?

If they are Spillikins, what do they represent?

 

H

Do you know an expert on Spillikins? Were there standard tools and weapons in most 19th Century sets?

 

 

 

J

What belongs in this curious 4-sided space?

K

What belongs in this curious club shaped space?

 

 

 

L

What is this 5 inch (12.5 cm) diameter object ?

Pressed or stamped from sheet brass.

 

 

N663

Have you got one of these?

We need the instructions please.

N

 

 

What are these two wooden pieces?

The hemispherical shaped depressions in the base of the soldier does not quite match the cavity in the top of the piece on the left.

The "cups" have a diameter of about 27mm.

R


This board looks as though it was made around 1870-1890.

What game or puzzle was played on it?


Please note that it is not the 8 pointed "Octostar Puzzle" .

 

W

 

What is this extraordinary print.
A Game, a Puzzle, or an Oracle?

Published by W.H.Crook, London 1812. It folds up into a cube, which is 9.3 cm. along each edge.

The unit squares depict all manner of things and are numbered from 61 to 100.

Was there originally another part numbered 1 to 60?

 

We have used rubber bands to hold the cube in shape for these photographs as the original tabs are now very weak.

 

Q357

What is this board?

What is TRENTAL?

 

Have you got this puzzle or game?

 

We think this beautiful board (33 cm. diameter) is for a puzzle called TRENTAL. We think it should have 30 balls and 20 or so pieces that look like turned Trees about 3 to 4 cm. tall.

We badly want a copy of the rules, and if found, a set of the balls & "tree" pieces. Maybe someone out there has a nice mahogany box full of all that we are missing.

 

 

The bottom of the board.

M485

 

 

 

 

 

How old is this gold 3-band puzzle ring, and from where does it come ?

Several Jewelry experts have looked and suggested ages of 150 to over 600 years old. The key to the correct date must lie in the script and meaning of the script.

The first suggestion was that they were a stylized form of IHS; however now we have had three people tell us that the characters should be orientated as shown in the upper illustration, and that they are DEVANAGARI.

If this is correct then our gold puzzle comes from Northern India, Nepal or thereabouts. Can anyone deduce the precise location, their age, and the meaning? If so, please email us!

Possibly we are wrong and have the writing the wrong way up. Is there a completely different interpretation?

JG of Chicago won a puzzle prize by locating the ring that appeared in this picture from a Pictorial Encyclopedia of around 1910.

It is a medieval puzzle ring which splits up into three interlocked rings and is very similar to our's.

 

P449

What is this curious object?

A small bone or ivory tray on legs containing 15 tablets.
The solid tray is divided 4 x 4: Half the squares are numbered and half are rosewood.
The 15 loose tablets have numbers on both sides:
The values are shown in the table opposite thus number 10 has number 90 on its reverse.
Can you tell us what it is? A Puzzle, A Game, or something else?
Is it missing one piece? If so what numbers should be on the missing piece?



P449  le with numbers        
           
           
Layout of The Tray  
  20 160 x x  
  x x 60 120  
  114 40 x x  
  x x 100 80  
           
Pieces
side A
side B
     
1 10 90      
2 20 100      
3 30 110      
4
40
120      
5 50 130      
6 60 140      
7 70 150      
8 80 160      
9 10 170      
10 20 180      
11 30 190      
12 40 200      
13 50 210      
14 60 220      
15 70 230      
           

 

Can you tell us about, or put us in touch with, the 3 makers of these beautiful Jigsaw puzzles from the mid-1970s. ? Initials of two are JM and JN.

 

P776

Who made these wonderful 3D Jigsaws in the 1990s?
It is possible that they were made in Wales U.K. but the larger lighthouse looks very like Brant Point, Nantucket, USA

   

A South African History Puzzle

 
What is the script on the Napkin Ring?
What does "1/6 ME A DOG" mean?
Can you solve either of these
Johnson Coins?
Who was Scannavini ?
 

Please email us if you can help with any of the above questions.

We give puzzles as prizes for the best publishable solutions!

 

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