Ludovici's Dickens Coaching Puzzles

Albert Ludovici, Jr. (b. 1852, d. 1932) wrote in his book, "An Artist's Life in London and Paris" (1926) with respect to the English coaching era:

"I cannot help feeling sorry for the present generation, who have no idea of these good old times, and my only regret is that I did not live in the coaching days, which I have so often tried to depict in my Charles Dickens coaching series of pictures."

Around 1910-11 Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd., London, England began to list in its sales catalogs for its Zag-Zaw brand of puzzles a series called "Tuck's Famous 16 Dickens Coaching 'Zag-Zaw' Puzzles" after the originals by Albert Ludovici, Jr. (usually signed "Ludovici") and supplied in two sizes, 400 pieces (20" x 12") and 150 pieces (12" x 7").

With one exception, the series was boxed in the tradtional Tuck box. The one known exception is "Tom Pinch Departs to Seek His Fortune" which is boxed in a special "Dickens Centenary Zag-Zaw" box.

About the same time Parker Brothers, Salem, MA began listing in its sales catalogs for its Pastime brand of puzzles a series called "The Famous Dickens Coaching Pastimes" made "only by Parker Brothers from Fine Imported Plates" in the 350 piece size. By the time of its Winter 1911-12 catalog Parker Brothers was listing 16 puzzles in the series. While some of the names are different from the Tuck series, the scenes are the same 16 Ludovici Dickens coaching prints, probably imported directly from Tuck. Note: sometimes the name on the box may differ from the catalog name. For conclusive identification, compare your puzzle with the pictures displayed above and below. Parker Brothers also made 150 piece versions of some of these scenes, although they are not listed in their catalogs and are rare.

Tuck/Zag-Zaw Cat. No. and NameComparable Parker Brothers/Pastime Cat. Name
D1The Meeting of Pip and Estella In the Inn, YorkMeeting of Pip and Estella in the Inn Yard
D2David Copperfield arrives in LondonDavid Copperfield Arrives in London
D3Nicholas Nickleby's Departure For Dothboy's HallSqueers Meets Nicholas Nickleby and Family at the "Saracens Head"
D4Mr. Pickwick, his Friends and Mr. Alfred Jingle start for RochesterMr. Pickwick and Friends Start for Rochester
D5David Copperfield on his way To SchoolLittle David Copperfield Weighs Down the Coach
D6Mr. Pecksniff leaves for LondonMr. Pecksniff Starts for London
D7The Election of EatanswillThe Election at Eatanswill
D8On the road to Dingley DellMr Pickwick en route for "Dingley Dell"
D9David Copperfield bids farewell To the Micawber FamilyDavid Copperfield Bidding Good-bye to the Micawbers
D10Mr. Pecksniff and the Misses Pecksniff's return from LondonMr. And Mrs. Pecksniff Return from London
D11Mr. Pickwick and his Friends arrive At the Blue Lion, MuggletonMr. Pickwick Arrives at the "Blue Lion", Muggleton
D12Nicloas Nickleby on the road To Dotheboy's HallNicholas Nickleby en route for Dotheboy's Hall
D13David Copperfield's First Sight Of LondonLittle David Copperfield--The Ride Over London Bridge
D14The Pickwickians leave the Golden Cross for RochesterThe Pickwickians leaving the Golden Cross Hotel
D15Tom Pinch departs to seek his fortuneTom Pinch Departs to Seek his Fortune
D16The Pickwickians arrive at EatanswillThe Pickwickians Arrive at Eatanswill

Tuck continued to offer the series for many years after 1912, especially in the 150 piece size. Tuck also offered a 300 piece Multiple Zag-Zaw puzzle combining two Ludovici Dickens Coaching scenes (each in the 150 piece size.) Parker Brothers dropped the series shortly after the 1912 centennial of Charles Dickens' birth, while occasionally making 300 to 400 piece puzzles from one of the Ludovici prints. However, in its January 1931 Pastime catalog, Parker Brothers offered a "Dickens Series" of 4 puzzles in the 350 piece size based on Ludovici coaching scenes, all different from the series of 16 offered back in 1912.

While a few other puzzle makers have made occasional puzzles from prints in the series (e.g., Double L's David Copperfield Arrives in London), none have tried to market the entire series of 16.

We have also acquired from England a puzzle with a Ludovici scene depicting Mr. Pickwick attempting to drive a chaise-in-four while Mr. Winkle tries to mount a horse (backward). While not showing a classic 4-horse drawn coach, the picture still might be called a "coaching scene" in the broad sense of the word.

Additional Ludovici Dickens coaching scenes

We have acquired two Ludovici prints depicting what we think are scenes from Charles Dickens' "Pickwick Papers" because both show a short rotund figure in black coat and hat who has the distinctive appearance of other portrayals of Samuel Pickwick. From a study of their catalogs neither Tuck nor Parker Brothers made either scene into a puzzle. We have not seen puzzles cut from these scenes by other makers either. Further identification for these scenes would be appreciated.

Full of the Dickens

An extraordinary puzzle featuring all 16 of the initial series of Ludovici Dickens coaching scenes was presented to me at our San Francisco Puzzle Parley April 2007 as thanks for my contributions to the world of jigsaw puzzles. I recommend you view and study Full of the Dickens for the puzzle is certainly one of the finest ever made and displays not only the 16 coaching scenes but also 25 of Dickens' characters.

This Collection

We have displayed all our Parker Brothers and Tuck versions of Ludovici's Dickens coaching scene puzzles as well as the Double L version. We are partial toward Pastimes and are "missing" the following Parker Brothers/Pastime puzzles in the the 350 pieces size (which we prefer):

  • David Copperfield on His Way to School
  • On the Road to Dingley Dell

We would be interested in purchasing or trading for 350 pc. Pastimes of these scenes as well as for the Tuck version in the series we do not have.  E-mail: raahna@oldpuzzles.com We are also interested in identifying Ludovici Dickens coaching scenes in prints or puzzles other than the ones displayed here.

38 puzzles in this collection - Page: 1   2  

p671

D 1: Pip and Estella in the Inn Yard

Made in 1912 by Cutter #52, Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime/Art Subject from Dickens series; 40 figure pieces; extensive color line cutting; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Great Expectations".

20548

D 1: The Meeting of Pip and Estella

Made 1930s by Tuck & Sons, London, England as D.1 in their Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw 400 p. series. Plywood, interlocking, 38 figure pieces. Artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Great Expectations".

1684

D 2: David Copperfield Arrives in London

Made 1910c. by Tuck & Sons, London, England as D.2 in their Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw series. Plywood, non-interlocking. Artist: Ludovici. The lack of figure pieces suggests puzzle was one of the very first made in the series, probably 1910.  From Dickens' "David Copperfield".

p933

D 2: David Copperfield Arrives in London

Pastime puzzle cut in 1925 by #92, Parker Brothers, Salem, MA. Plywood, semi-interlocking, cut along color lines with 44 figure pieces. Artist: Lucovici. Innocent David Copperfield is already being "eyed" by scheming villians (lower left)! From Dickens' "David Coppefield".

p255

D 3: Squeers Meets Nicholas Nickleby and His Friends at the Saracen's Head

Made 1912c. by Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime/Art Subject from Dickens series; 36 figure pieces; extensive color line cutting; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby".

p776

D 4: Mr. Pickwick Starts for Rochester

Probable Pastime puzzle made by Parker Brothers, Salem, MA c.1910. Pywood, semi-interlocking, cut along color lines. Artist: Lucovici. From Dickens' "Pickwick Papers". Puzzle reboxed for Puzzle Exchange, YMCA (no address). Style and "feel" of puzzle very much like the earliest Pastimes. Lending libraries frequently reboxed Pastime (and other makers') puzzles.

1375

D 4: Mr. Pickwick, his Friends and Mr. Alfred Jingle start for Rochester

Made 1912c. by Tuck & Sons, London, England; Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw series; 24 figure pieces; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Pickwick Papers".

1668

D 5: David Copperfield on His Way to School

Zag-Zaw puzzle made in the 1910s by Tuck & Sons, Ltd, London, England; 24 figure pieces. Artist: Ludovici. From Dickens’ “David Copperfield”.

p532

D 6: Mr. Pecksniff Leaves for London

Made in the 1930s by Cutter #763, Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime; 42 figure pieces; color line cutting; excellent colors; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit".

2478

D 6: Mr. Pecksniff Leaves for London

Made in 1930s by Tuck & Sons, London, England as D.6 in their Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw series. Plywood, interlocking, some color line cutting, 15 figure pieces. Artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit".

p644

D 7: The Election at Eastanswill

Made 1912c. by Cutter #4, Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime; 1 figure piece; extensive color line cutting; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Pickwick Papers".

20159

D 7: The Election at Eatanswill

Made in 1930s by Tuck & Sons, London, England as D.7 in their Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw series. Plywood, interlocking, 20 figure pieces. Artist: Ludovici. From the same scene in ch. XXVIII, Dickens' "Pickwick Papers" as "The Pickwickians Arriving in Eatanswill". Seems strange that Ludovici would do two of the same scene.

p661

D 8: On the Road to Dingley Dell

Made 1912c. by Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime; 12 figure pieces; color line cutting; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Pickwick Papers".  This is a rare 150 p. Pastime version of this scene; we are looking for a 350 p. Pastime version.

1357

D 8: On the Road to Dingley Dell

Made 1912c. by Tuck & Sons, London, England as D.8 in their Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw series. Plywood, non-interlocking, 15 figure pieces. Artist: Ludovici. Long, jolting coach rides necessitated periodic stops for changing horses and refreshments if there was time. In this scene from ch. 28 of Dickens' "Pickwick Papers", Mr. Pickwick and Mr. Tupman have slipped away for "a glass of ale apiece", only to have to hurry back to reboard the departing coach.

p542

D 9: David Copperfield Bids Farewell to the Micawber Family

Made 1912c. by Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime; 20 figure pieces; extensive color line cutting; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "David Copperfield".

20552

D10 Mr. Pecksniff and the Misses Pecksniff"s Return from London

Zag-Zaw puzzle made by Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, England 1930s.  Plywood, interlocking, cut with 40 figure pieces.  A large size version of D10 in the Ludovici Dickens Coaching series of 16 puzzles.  Puzzle box came with orange tie string and original packing paper.  From Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit".

p256

D10: Mr. And Mrs. Pecksniff Arrive from London

Made 1912c. by Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime/Art Subject from Dickens series; 42 figure pieces; extensive color line cutting; artist's name not shown on puzzle but it is Ludovici. From Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit".

1358

D10: Mr. Pecksniff and the Misses Pecksniff"s Return from London

Made 1912c. by Tuck & Sons, London, England as D.10 in their Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw series. Plywood, non-interlocking, 24 figure pieces. Artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Martin Chuzzlewit".

1376

D11: Mr. Pickwick and His Friends Arrive at the Blue Lion, Muggleton

Made 1912c. by Tuck & Sons, London, England as D.11 in their Dickens Coaching Zag-Zaw series. Plywood, non-interlocking, 24 figure pieces. Artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Pickwick Papers".

p257

D11: Mr. Pickwick Arrives at the Blue Lion

Made 1912c. by Parker Brothers, Salem, MA; Pastime/Art Subject from Dickens series; 40 figure pieces; extensive color line cutting; artist: Ludovici. From Dickens' "Pickwick Papers".

38 puzzles in this collection - Page: 1   2