AGPC Meeting re Jigsaw Puzzles (a/k/a Puzzle Parley)

April 12, 2007 to April 13, 2007
San Francisco, CA

The eighth meeting since 1994 of puzzle cutters, collectors, enthusiasts, dealers was held Thursday evening and Friday, April 12-13, 2007 at the Holiday Inn Golden Gate in San Francisco, CA. Nearly 60 people attended the all-day session on Friday. The meeting was held immediately preceding the Annual AGPC Convention, so many attendees at the puzzle meeting stayed over for the Convention, some for the first time and some as new AGPC members.

On Thursday night attendees arriving early met at the Hotel lounge to be greeted by the organizers and meet the other attendees, followed by a buffet dinner at the Hotel. After dinner, Bob Armstrong reviewed his remarks about Ebay from the 2000 puzzle meeting at Katonah, NY and introduced the audience to the latest fad on Ebay: “mega-bidding” through Esnipe. The audience were intrigued by Bob’s analysis of how a bidder, with “deep pockets and nerves of steel”, can virtually guarantee being the winning bidder on the better quality puzzles listed on Ebay.

Friday’s all-day session featured:

  • Two hour round table discussion of cutting issues among puzzle makers
  • Presentations by Melinda Shebell and Joe Seymour honoring the contributions to the American jigsaw puzzle world of Anne Williams and Bob Armstrong (see below) followed by Melinda’s story of the making of the special puzzles for Anne and Bob
  • Power-point presentation by Melinda Shebell on planning for and making the first cuts in a puzzle, with extensive images of patterns in old puzzles
  • Presentation by Joe Seymour about the effects of humidity and heat on wood, glues and sealants used in puzzles today
  • Review by Bob Armstrong of the special collections displayed on his website ( emphasizing the importance for puzzle enthusiasts to focus their collecting on areas of special interest to themselves
  • Table sales of jigsaw puzzles, many cut by makers in attendance

The highlight of the meeting was the presentations to Anne Williams and Bob Armstrong of two enormous puzzles brilliantly designed by Melinda Shebell for which approximately 15 puzzle makers from around the country had cut individual sections. Anne’s puzzle (3’ x 3’) featured a collage of images of leading puzzles divided into four eras depicting the history of American puzzles to which Anne has contributed so much: pre-1900, 1900 to 1930, 1930 to 1960, 1960 to today. Bob’s puzzle (2’ x 5’) featured images of all 16 of the Ludovici Dickens coaching scene puzzles which Bob has collected for many years, cut employing nearly all the special cutting techniques which Bob analyzed in his series of articles for the AGPC Quarterly published in 2002. Both Anne and Bob, who had cut sections for each other’s puzzle, were totally surprised when each was presented with their own puzzle and astounded that Melinda could “engineer” two such spectacular puzzles at the same time. A separate section of this website will be devoted to more pictures and a fuller description of the two puzzles.

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