Aesop's Fables > Aesop's Artifacts > Toys & Games > Picture Puzzles

Picture Puzzles

1931 Aesop's Fables Picture Puzzle. Three puzzles. Apparently by J. Lang. Heavy cardboard. 5½" x 8½". Series No. 205. Utica: Madmar Quality Co. $25 from Robert Watts, Fairfield, VA, through Ebay, March, '00.

Three twelve-piece puzzles: GGE, "The Squealing Pig," and TH. The style of the pictures reminds me of Milo Winter's work. The puzzles are complete but slightly warped. What a great find!

Click on the box to see the puzzles.

1946? Walt Disney Character Jaymar Heavy Board Jigsaw Puzzle for Tiny Tots. TH. "Large Pieces Little Fingers Can Handle." NY: Jaymar. $9.99 from Mary Duque, Cashmere, WA, through Ebay, August, '01.

The scene is the finish line, with the tortoise stretching out his head—in fact past the corner of the box! The finished puzzle is 19" x 14" and includes about 54 pieces, all of which I can attest are present. It was fun doing this puzzle! Except for some buckling of the individual pieces, it is in very good condition. Some pieces represent objects like cars and shoes and a dog.

1946? Walt Disney Jigsaw Puzzle: The Grasshopper and the Ants.  Series No. 3.  NY: Jayman Specialty Company.  $15 at a Milwaukee antique dealer, June, '18.

"300 pieces and a 14" x 22" Picture!" proclaims the cover, which is slit in one place and bowed, as the picture shows.  I have not yet tried the puzzle, whose picture on the cover is true to the Disney cartoon of GA.  The series contains TH as well as "The Ugly Duckling" and "Pinnochio."  Characters from other Disney favorites, like "Snow White," as well as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck grace the cover outside the picture of the puzzle.

1949  Tommy Tortoise and Moe Hare Picture Puzzle.  Over 70 large pieces.  Ages 5 to 10.  Harvey Famous Cartoons.  No. 1017.  Warren Built-Rite Puzzles.  CFC 2020.0152.1.  $3.99 from Bob & Veronica Quinn, Trimble MO through Ebay. June, '03.

This picture has the Tommy on a bicycle upending Moe with bowling pins flying before a large human crowd and a clown.  All the pieces are there!



1949?  Tommy Tortoise and Moe Hare Picture Puzzle.  Harvey Famous Cartoons.  No. 1230.  Sta-N-Place Inlaid Puzzles.  Made in USA.  Unknown source and date of acquisition.

Now this is surprising.  Recently I bought a picture puzzle, complete and boxed, of TH.  It is the item just above.  I soon realized that it was the same picture as a picture puzzle that I had found earlier, but missing two pieces and having no box.  It is indeed the same picture, but slightly different in size, with a different border, and -- most remarkable to me -- with differently cut pieces.  That is why I provide a small sample and a signature in addition to the overview of this puzzle.  

1950? Le Lièvre et la Tortue. Puzzle env. 500 morceaux.  $20 from Dany Wolfs, Roeselare, Belgium, Dec., '00. 

There is a pleasant "finish of the race" scene on the cover of this oblong portrait-formatted box. It is signed by "collet." I have not tried the puzzle yet. Sorry!

1950?  2 Jeux de Patience: Les Fables de La Fontaine.  Paris: Jouets Veza.  Two wooden picture puzzles: MM and OF.  25 pieces each.  Artist: A. Jourgin.  Made in France.  Just over 8" square.  CLC 2020.0199.1.1.  Unknown source. 

This is perhaps the sturdiest pair of puzzles in the collection.  Complete in the box.  Jourgin was doing movie posters in 1937.  The only other Jouets Veza product I can find is a set of puzzles displaying propeller drive airplanes and jets at Nice's airport.  Click on the box to see the two puzzles.

1952?  Five La Fontaine puzzles made of numbered tiles.  Four with "solution" images.  €45 from cameleon 1958, Feb.,' 23.

Here is a different approach to fable puzzles.  Each fable image has a frame with room inside for 23 hexagonal pieces, each numbered on its verso.  All except TMCM have a matching image that can help to solve the puzzle.  I am surprised by the good condition of these puzzles.  The pieces still fit!  FS has a surprising but consistent misalignment.  Other puzzles are FS, CP, and "The Monkey and the Cat."


1958 3 Aesop's Fables Puzzles. For ages 4-9. Heavy cardboard. Springfield, MA: Milton Bradley Company. $7 from Debbie Delp, Orange Park, FL, through Ebay, May, '99. Extra copies with boxes in poor condition for $9.99 from Judy Kozza, Allentown, PA, May, '00 and for $6.99 from Dennis Kirby, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Nov., '00, both through Ebay.

Each of three thirty-piece puzzles includes a printed fable as part of its picture: LM, TH, and FC. I knew there had to be some old picture puzzles out there, and this is the first that I found.

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1958 FC. "Aptitude Tested Puzzle of 20 Pieces. For Ages 4 to 8." Heavy cardboard. 10¼" x 14¼". Sold as one of a set of three (with two Hansel-and-Gretal scenes dated 1955). 4508-1 (with 4508-7 and 4508-8). Made in U.S.A. Milton Bradley Company. $4.95 from Paula Edwards, Morgantown, NC, through Ebay, Sept., '99.

Many of the pieces of this puzzle are identifiable objects. In fact, if you look in the illustration, you can find an automobile. I find it curious that now that I have finally found three picture puzzles of fables, two of them were done by the same company in the same year!

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1960? Box of 4 "Fables de La Fontaine" cardboard puzzles. TH; FC; GA; and MM. Artist: J. Robion. Willeb Ref. #1748. €12 from lesvieuxbidules through Ebay, Sept., '20.

These are spirited illustrations of fables. The animals about which Perrette dreams are sitting or standing along the path. Both grasshopper and ant are curious mixtures of human and animal. The tortoise is apparently crawling or flopping over the ribbon marking the finish line. The sturdy cardboard puzzles, about 6¾" x 9½", are in excellent condition, perhaps never taken apart. The box itself has suffered more wear. Included are same-sized images of the puzzles' scenes. Since there are four puzzles involved and their pictures are unusual, I have made a separate page for this set, to be found by clicking on the cover image.



1970?  La Fontaine's Fables: Jig Saw Picture Puzzle.  3 fables: FC, GA, and WL.  42 pieces.  Heavy cardboard.  WB 197.  About 7½" x 8 ½".  Made in China.  CFC2020.0150.1-4.  Unknown source.

Three strong and simple images.  The fox's mouth is visibly watering as he flatters the crow.  Both GA and the wolf in WL seem to me to have been "borrowed" from Felix Lorioux or perhaps another popular French artist.  The packaging of these nice puzzles is a little unusual: envelopes inside of a thin cardboard package.  The puzzles themselves seem untouched.  It was relatively easy to get them out of and back into their envelopes. Click on the package to see the puzzles.


1970? Playskool TH puzzle. Wood. 12-piece. 290-01. Made in U.S.A. $4.25 from James Richter, New Paltz, NY, through Ebay, July, '00.

I remember this sort of puzzle fondly from my childhood. A heavy back supports the cut-out outline of the upper level of the puzzle. The large pieces fit right in. This simple puzzle pictures a very happy tortoise! For fun, I offer views of the puzzle both inside its borders and alone. Click on either to see a large contrast of the two.

1970?  Waddington's Junior Circular Jig-Saw: Aesop's Fables.  Vari-piece.  Circular.  Stock No. 533.  Diameter 12".  170 pieces.  CLC 2020.0151.1.  £3.99 from Richard Rayfield, Kent, UK, through Ebay, July, '05.

This is a difficult puzzle!  Some of the difficult factors include the circular frame, the many images involved, and particularly the lightness of the pieces, which easily become dislodged after being correctly placed.  The attractiveness of fables for picture puzzles is one of the many surprises for this collector!  And this puzzle was a worthy challenge!


1972? Jaymar Tortoise and Hare Puzzle.  Ages 4-6.  12 pieces.  Copyright Drawing Board Greeting Cards.  Jaymar Specialty Company, Brooklyn, NY.  $11.99 from glass-eye-industries through Ebay, May, '19.

This puzzle fits together very tightly.  I learned how difficult it is to put a puzzle inside its frame onto a flatbed scanner!  There is also a puzzle of TMCM in the same series of six puzzles for ages 4 to 6.  Hmmmm.....


1975? Ed-U-Cards Junior Classics Picture Puzzle: "The Raven and the Swan." 10" x 14" picture. Aesop's Fables with Story Booklet (booklet missing). Over 100 pieces. Series No. 3901. NY: Ed-U-Cards Mfg. Corp. $2 from Barb Girt, North Canton, OH, through Ebay, Nov., '00.

The picture is rather simple and static: a swan and raven face each other. The artist's signature seems to be either "Alihi" or "Aliki."

1975? Ed-U-Cards Junior Classics Picture Puzzle: "The Tortoise and the Hare." 10" x 14" picture. Aesop's Fables with Story Booklet (booklet and two pieces missing). Over 100 pieces. Series No. 3901. NY: Ed-U-Cards Mfg. Corp. $9 from Tony Niehart, Vermilion, OH, through Ebay, Jan., '20. 

I needed to see how many pieces were missing, so I did the puzzle myself.  The artist seems to be "Aliki."  And now I wonder: Are there more fable puzzles in this series?  And now, one day later, I have found one of the two missing pieces!  Maybe I'll still find the other one!

1988 Le Lièvre et la Tortue. Les Fables de la Fontaine. 150-piece picture puzzle with poster and bilingual text. 31.5 x 41.5 cm. Paris: Jeux Nathan S.A. Found in a toy store on Jackson Square in New Orleans.

Perhaps the most memorable feature of the picture here is that the tortoise is sweating!

1997  Tortoise and the Hare.  160 piece puzzle.  Artist: Don Daily.  15½" x 11½".  Made in USA.  No. 97040.  Salem, NH: F.X. Schmid.  CFC 2020 0153.1.  Unknown source.

This is about as elaborate a start of the TH race as I have seen!  What a huge cast of characters!  The trappings of the race along with the large congregation of animals make for a good puzzle.  It was not easy!  I had never thought of checkered pants for the hare.  The top hats of two of the birds are among the best touches.

2002  60-Piece TH Puzzle.  Storybook.  Hasbro: Milton Bradley.  Ages 4-8.  10" x 13".  Box sealed by manufacturer to prevent lost pieces.  When and where?

In this artist's conception, the hare is just awakening under a tree as the tortoise -- with his old football helmet? -- is reaching the finish line.  There a mouse has a golden trophy cup to give him.

2003  Aesop's Fables.  48 piece jigsaw puzzle.  John Steven Gurney.  Finished Size 24" x 36".  Manufactured by SunsOut, Inc.  MPN# 81102.  One extra copy.  Boxes unopened.  Unknown source. 

The cover of this puzzle asks "Can you find all your favorite fables?"  I can find twenty, cleverly worked into one picture.  I am unsure of several of the images, particularly the farmer with a pitcher and the animal tumbling into the well.  Cleverly done!  I can remember being frustrated that I bought this same puzzle twice within a short time, but I cannot yet establish when and from whom.

2009 Les Fables de Roland: Les Animaux d'Esope.  Cernuschi.  Hardbound.  Nimes, France: SDP Le Livre Club.  $30.31 from Kbooks, Scarborough, ON, Canada, through eBay, Sept., '13.  

"With this book of six puzzles, learn to read while having fun."  This "livre-puzzle" offers three Aesopic fables related through pages six of which are picture puzzles.  Under the "puzzle" section of this catalogue, I offer pictures of the cover, featuring GA, and of one scene from "The Two Asses."  Other fables here are "The Weasel and the Chickens" and "The Dog and His Master."  It is curious that the fables pictured on the two covers, GA and TMCM, do not appear in the book. The book itself is sturdy and well made.  It is of course rare to see the French featuring Aesop for fables.  I list this book among both books and puzzles.


2015? Nine-Piece Picture Puzzle: Le pot de terre et le pot de fer.  Fable de Jean de La Fontaine.  Imprimerie La Dhuys.  Fabrique en France.  Unknown source.  

The two pots in the foreground echo the scene in the background: the poor man pays while the rich man rides off without paying.  A little research suggests that this printer did a series of La Fontaine puzzles in 2015, including at least TMCM.  Will I be able to find more of them?  


2021 Mein Grosses Puzzlebuch Fabeln von La Fontaine.  Translated by Britta Kholer.  Illustrations by Marisa Vestita.  Hardbound.  Milan: White Star Kids: White Star.  €14.95 from Froehlich & Kaufmann, April, '22.

What a different sort of book!  What one notices first about this 12" x 11" book is its heaviness.  Take off the wrapper, and it is clear that we have five heavy-stock picture puzzle pages inside with about 56 pieces each.  The simple designs are pleasant and help make for easier rather than harder placement of the pieces.  I recognize the artistic approach from the seven other other Vestita books from White Star in the collection.  This is an impressive piece of book engineering!  I am not sure I have seen the likes of it before.  I will cross-reference it among puzzles under "Toys.