While trawling through some archive stuff on an old blog of mine, I recently came across the following short post I had written:
‘It was some chap called John Spilsbury in the late 18th century who devised the first ‘dissected puzzle’. Almost all the earliest such puzzles to become known and beloved as Jigsaw Puzzles were made out of wood,often of mahogany. They were also often map puzzles depicting the countries of the world, hand coloured , the pieces cut around the different countries.
If you can find one of the earliest puzzles with all pieces intact, you will be well rewarded. Apparently,several years ago a set of Spilsbury jigsaws would have fetched at auction in excess of £25,000. One Spilsbury jigsaw of the map of England, where each piece was allocated a county could set you back around £2,000.
Although you may not be able to get your hands on one of these rarest of puzzles, you may profit by visiting collectors weekly
But you may not be looking merely for profit, and as a collector you continue to research and hunt for choice specimens to add to your collection. These may include the most recent variety of mass produced puzzle punched out of cardboard. And yes, there is a name for such collectors: Dissectologists. For further research, you can go to The British Jigsaw Puzzle Library
I shall be developing a category here on the60life site devoted to collectibles and retro items.