Dickens Puzzle Presentation

February 7, 1999

On February 7, 1999, I displayed and discussed at a meeting of the Dickens Fellowship of Worcester, MA fourteen different jigsaw puzzles depicting scenes and characters from the writings of Charles Dickens. I have been picking up and restoring puzzles with this theme for the past three years because of a long standing interest in Dickens, especially "Pickwick Papers". Five were 350 piece Parker Brothers/Pastime Art Subjects from Dickens puzzles, all involving coaching scenes by the artist A. Ludovici. Three were 150 piece Tuck/Zag-Zaw Dickens Coaching Series puzzles (D.4, D.6, D.16), again coaching scenes by Ludovici. Three were 65-200 piece Tuck/Zag-Zaw puzzles showing various Dickens characters by the artist Harold Copping. Two were 100 piece A.V.N. Jones/Delta Characters from Dickens puzzles (No 1 and 9 in a series of 12) by the artist Frank Reynolds. The last, but hardly the least, was a 284 piece Clara Rawson/Delft puzzle titled: "In the Days of Dickens", and showing and naming all the important characters in Pickwick Papers as they ride through town in a coach, by the artist Cecil Aldin.

You probably can imagine the stunning impact of these colorful, entertaining and educational puzzles on the staid members of the Dickens Fellowship! Previously, I had researched the artists at the library of the Worcester Art Museum and could find little on them despite assistance from two professional librarians. But thanks to Charles McCallum of Chicago, IL, the mystery of the identity of Ludovici has now been solved. His research shows that the artist was Albert Ludovici, Jr, b. 1852, d. 1932, member of British Royal Academy of Painters, Sculptors, Engravers, member of French school of painting, admirer of the impressionist style of Whistler, who also lived in Paris and did engravings. A. Ludovici Jr had written a book describing his love for coaching pictures and his painting of the Dickens coaching series.

Frank Reynolds was b. 1876, member of Royal Institute of Water colors, editor of Punch and credited with illustrations for several DickensÂ’ novels.

Harold Copping was b. 1863, exhibited at the Royal Academy and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolors.

Cecil Aldin b. 1870 was a water color artist and illustrator who specialized in scenes of old English inns, sporting and fox hunting, English cathedrals and topographical subjects. His art work is well known to puzzle collectors, appearing on many puzzles especially English puzzles.

Any more information on these artists and series of illustrations would be appreciated. And, of course, I would be interested in hearing from anyone interested in selling/trading me puzzles involving scenes from Dickens! As you can see, our love and knowledge of jigsaw puzzles has expanded in many different directions and we want to share them with interested people.