Railwayananet Collectors Guides

 
        Jigsaw Puzzles
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Updated June 2017

Railway Advertising - Jigsaw Puzzles

A number of Companies made wooden Jigsaw Puzzles, generally featuring pictures of trains, but by far the largest contributor was the Toy maker Chad Valley who produced 45 wood backed & one card backed puzzle for the GWR between 1924 and the start of the Second World War.
   The first was Caerphilly Castle being produced to be sold at the British Empire Exhibition in May 1924. It was the only Jigsaw sold in this series without GWR on its blue and white box and was priced at 5/-.

The puzzle had 150 pieces and was cut to the outline of the loco  Overall 78,000 were sold between 1923 & 1928

  This was a high price and the puzzle did not sell well. It was later reduced to the cost price of 2/6d with the Box changed to a GWR branded version and the Jigsaw simplified having the front and rear not cut to the outline of the loco. Puzzles from now on were all sold at cost as publicity material and over the years proved a very successful marketing tool with around 1,000,000 sold between 1924 and 1939.

  The puzzles were labour intensive to produce as they were all hand cut (about four at a time) and so you are unlikely to find two puzzles of the same subject that are cut the same. One puzzle "The Cathedral" was produced double side with a map of the GWR sytem on the rear but it proved difficult to cut with paper on both sides and so this was the only one produced of this type.   The jigsaws are listed in order of scarcity and used to be quite difficult to source. However, with the advent of Ebay, it has become fairly easy to obtain all of the puzzles and now incomplete ones are very difficult to sell at any price. Overall the prices have dropped considerably over the past ten years and you should be able to build up a collection by following the railwayana & local auctions plus Ebay.

Lost in Transit is still a difficult puzzle to obtain as it was produced one Christmas and given to GWR staff to encourage them to look after parcels with more care. This was probably not considered the greatest of presents and as the puzzle was card backed and not interlocking it was quite annoying to make. For this reason most were disposed of and only a few survived. These can be difficult to find as the box gives no clues as to the puzzle within. Currently fetching around 500, if complete and with a good condition box.

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