Widely regarded as one of Britain's, and possibly the World's finest commercial puzzle producers who manufactured wooden puzzles from various London premises in the early-mid twentieth century, generally featuring very high quality artwork. One of their most highly-prized ranges are the spectacular Figure it Out puzzles, featured here within their own dedicated sub-album.
Established in 1794 as a manufacturer of very fine quality tools, lathes and wood-turning equipment, puzzle manufacture began in the early part of the twentieth Century and followed the Company's usual highest standards. Early examples were of solid wood construction, superbly colour line-cut and of combined push-fit and semi-interlocking design. Later puzzles, generally of plywood construction, featured a more angular cutting technique whilst still retaining the semi-interlocking nature and continuing to incorporate abundant colour line-cutting. These appear to have been introduced c1928 and continued as the norm after the formation of a new associate firm called Walker & Holtzapffel in 1932.
These are very scarce puzzles and I am exceedingly grateful to all who have allowed me to display pictures here on the site.
To help in more accurately determining an individual puzzle's origins, box label company name and address details are the best indicator. Reference to Josh Salesin's excellent holtzapffel.org website, A catalog and history of Holtzapffel lathes, along with label references to H.R.H. The King on pre-1910 examples and The late King Edward VII thereafter, it is possible to bring an increased degree of accuracy.
Company addresses of 53 Haymarket from 1907-1930, followed by 79 Wigmore Street in 1931 and then 61 Baker Street from 1932 onwards, along with company name changes from Holtzapffel & Co, to Holtzapffel & Co Ltd., in 1922, all help even further in the quest for accuracy.

© 2008-2023 David Shearer

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