Bathing Belles-An East Coast Tonic

Spectacular semi-interlocking plywood jigsaw puzzle, estimated to be of c1932-35 manufacture and one of the largest examples so far seen from the superb "Figure=it=Out" range.

I first encountered this puzzle at a BCD House Party event in 2009, where it certainly grabbed my attention. At that time, it was identified with the title "Bathing Belles". I had the very good fortune to have the opportunity of acquiring it at another BCD weekend event, some 13 years later. Having been one of the first individual "F=I=O" puzzles I had seen, it has now gone on to become one of my absolute favourites.

Whilst preparing for a presentation I was due to give at yet another House Party weekend event, I alighted upon the original artwork for the puzzle, which also included the artist signature. This discovery has identified it as being an LNER promotional poster entitled "An East Coast Tonic", by the French artist Jean Droit (1884-1961). A little further digging identified another painting by the same artist, one which appeared in a very similar promotional poster, this time for LNER's services to the Belgian Coast! The latter carried a date of 1935, so perhaps this can be used as an indicator for the origins of this puzzle.

That event, in 2024, also afforded us sufficient space to assemble it once again, and much admired it was too!

The puzzle is housed in a Walker & Holtzapffel box which, whilst probably contemporary with it, is not the original one.

Artist: Droit, Jean
Date: c1932-35
Brand: Holtzapffel
Material: Plywood
Nationality: British-England
Pieces: 531
Range: Figure-it=Out
Size: 39" x 26"
Theme: Fashion
Title: Bathing Belles-An East Coast Tonic

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