from the lastest Surveys
... May 7, 1783 John Wallis at his Map Warehouse
Ludgate Street, London...
| I spent a fair amount of time looking
at the label and there are parts of it that I can not decipher. |
Somewhere between 1812 and 1814, John Wallis claimed to be "the original manufacturer of maps and puzzles (having dedicated full 30 years to that particular line of busines)". That would make this puzzle one of the earliest that he produced. John Spilsbury had conveniently passed away some years earlier, otherwise this boast might never had been put forth.
There is no doubt however, that Wallis was one of the first to manufacture puzzles and one of his early successes was his version of Darton's "Kings and Queens" in 1788. This 54 piece puzzle, on mahogany with a paper backing, is about 25" tall and 24" at its widest. The mahogany box is 7.5" x 8" x 3"
by means of which
Young Persons may easily aquire
a thorough knowledge of its
Sold by John Wallis
at his Instructive Toy Warehouse. 13 Warwick Square, London
|This puzzle was probably made sometime between 1805 and 1811, the years his address was listed at 13 Warwick. The title on the puzzle is "An Analytical Table of the Government of Great Britain" and it was an educational puzzle meant to show the relationships of the various branches. This 39 piece puzzle, on mahogany with a paper backing, is 11" x 8 5/8". The mahogany box is 6" x 7.5" x 1.5". The label:|
Instruction with Amusement
from WALLIS"s Original Manufactory.
42 Skinner Street, Snow Hill. London.
|This Edward Wallis (son of John) puzzle is marked "Published Jan. 25th, 1822" It is in such nice condition that at first, I wondered if perhaps it was a reproduction. After a lot of careful study of the wood, saw marks, ink and printing method, I have concluded that I have an exceptionally well preserved puzzle. One other factor would be that someone would have had to put a lot of time, skill and effort into this and at the time that I bought it, there was virtually no market for old English puzzles and there would have been no way to make a profit from all that effort. This 24.5" x 14.625" puzzle is on mahogany with a paper backing and has 71 pieces. The box is 9.5" x 7.25" x 2.75"|
by REVd Legh Richmond
Drawn from Nature and on the Spot
Published by E. Wallis, 42, Skinner Street, London
|I have not found any references to tell me about this puzzle's subject. Was it a book, a play or something from the society pages? This puzzle came with a picture insert and only a small fragment remains. There is enough of the image to allow me to make replacement pieces for the two bottom images. I'm guessing that this puzzle was made in the 1830s or 1840s. The address and signature used span 1818 to 1847. The 67 piece puzzle is 16" x 13.5" and is paper backed mahogany. I don't know the wood; the box is 7.5" x 9.5" x 2.25". I have found out that this is a reference to a book of children's Christian stories. The Dairyman's Daughter, The Negro Servant, and The Young Cottager were each stories in The Annals of the Poor. This book was a huge seller in the 19th century (over 2 million copies) and the stories continue to be published and sold today. (Over 10 million copies in 10 languages.) The stories (and scenes?) occurred on the Isle of Wight.|