Great Western Railway jigsaw collection - page 2


Click or tap here to GO TO PREVIOUS PAGE or GO TO NEXT PAGE



King George V

About 300 pieces (approx. 21 3⁄4"x8 1⁄4") in red box with cream label, but with two pieces and two nibs missing and one broken.
Published from 1928 to 1932. It is cut to the outline of the engine.
Image derived from a photograph.

This very popular puzzle was originally published with 150 pieces in 1927, then later enlarged in about 1934 to 200 pieces. This is a rarer version which was published at about the same time. Whilst the picture and overall size are the same as the other versions, this one is cut into very small pieces. This puzzle was uniquely presented in a red box of the same size as the standard brown one in use at the time. The normal cream label on the front is partialy overlaid by an unusually large sticker with guide picture and puzzle details.
This puzzle is not cut particularly well as there are several 'false starts' and many of the nibs and necks are tiny.



The Cathedral

About 150 pieces (approx. 16"x12") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1926 to 1935. This is the early small version with the puzzle later being increased to 200 pieces.
Featuring Exeter cathedral exterior by the artist Fred Taylor.

Whilst still being cut to about 150 pieces, this slightly later version of the puzzle is now packaged in the standard brown cardboard box rather than the rarer first more square shaped red box. The cut of the pieces is markedly different to that seen in the earlier version. This puzzle continues to carry a map of the GWR network on the reverse, still no reference to this is made on the box however.



Britain's Mightiest

About 150 pieces (approx. 14"x14") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1927 to 1930.
Painted by the Canadian artist Moy Thomas

The engine 'King George V' is shown carrying the bell presented during its visit to the United States in 1927 to participate in the centenary celebrations of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company. This image was also used for a poster advertising New York to London, Fastest Route via Plymouth.
Moy Thomas also produced artwork for posters promoting visits to other countries such as Egypt and for Canadian National Railways.



King George V

About 150 pieces (approx. 22"x8") in brown box with black label.
Published between 1927 and 1936. It is cut to the outline of the engine.
Image derived from a photograph.

This is the early small version with the puzzle later being increased to 200 pieces. Also published with 'about 300 pieces' between 1928 and 1932.



Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

About 150 pieces (approx. 16 3⁄4"x11 1⁄2") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1928 to 1932.
From a painting by the artist Warwick Goble dated 1927.



A Cornish Fishing Village

About 150 pieces (approx. 12 1⁄2"x15") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1930 to 1933.
Painted by S.Clarke Hutton.

This picture was used as the coloured frontispiece to the souvenir booklet produced by the Great Western Railway as a souvenir from the 'British Empire Exhibition' of 1924.



A Railway Station

About 150 pieces, with one replacement piece (approx. 19 1⁄4"x8 3⁄4") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1930 to 1933.
Attributed to W.P.Frith, R.A. on label and the painting is signed (very small on puzzle) W.P.Frith.
The puzzle is actually based on a replica of the original picture, also painted by Frith.

The full title on the coloured guide picture is A Railway Station (Paddington Station in 1862). It shows a very busy scene with a train which is preparing to depart hauled by the engne Great Britain having luggage loaded onto the carriage roofs before being covered with tarpaulin. Soldiers in their red uniforms can be seen amid great bustle as passengers rush to board. The artist often included himself and members of his own family in his paintings and this one, which was painted in 1862 when Frith was 43, is no exception. Frith shows himself wearing a black hat and greatcoat with his hand on his son's shoulder. His wife, Isabella, is kissing their younger son who is carrying a cricket bat and is about to leave to start a new term at boarding school. Included also (in fur coat at centre) is the professor who taught his children languages and Inspector Craig of Paddington Station (far right). Frith apparently led something of a double life with a mistress, Mary Alford, who was twenty years his junior. It is felt he must have included her in several of his paintings and it is thought by some that the young woman wearing a bonnet who can be seen above his right shoulder is Mary - she certainly seems to be keeping an eye on him.

This is actually a famous picture for a very different reason as it recalls an episode which took place on January 1st, 1845. On the extreme right a man can be seen being arrested as he is about to board the train. An arrest warrant is being served by one detective whilst another stands by, handcuffs at the ready. The reality was very different to that illustrated however. In short, a John Tawell had travelled from London to Slough and having poisoned his ex-mistress returned to London on the evening 7:42 train. He was followed after alighting from the train, and was arrested the next day in a coffee house, not at the station as enacted in the painting. The significance of the event lies in the fact that his description was telegraphed to Paddington from the station at Slough, enabling him to be identified on arrival. This case gripped the public's attention and was extensively covered in the press as this was the first instance of the electric telegraph being used for such a purpose. John Tawell was found guilty of murder and was executed in Aylesbury on the 28th March, becoming known as 'The Man Hanged by the Electric Telegraph'.

The original canvas measures 8feet 5inches by 3feet 10inches and was painted as a commission from L.V.Flatlow who was a picture dealer in Haymarket and paid £4,500 for the work. He also paid £750 for Frith to waive the right to send it for exhibition at the Royal Academy. Instead, Flatlow displayed it at his gallery, where 21,150 people paid to view it in seven weeks. The painting was later exhibited at the 1878 International Exhibition in Paris. In 1883 it was sold to Mr. Thomas Holloway, founder of the Royal Holloway College and was displayed in the Palace of Arts at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1928. A whole website could be devoted to this large painting, its associations and how it first came to be painted. The identities of the models for the detectives, the identity of the gentleman clearly seen studying the broad gauge engine, the private life and work of the artist himself, the life story of John Tawell, the early telegraph apparatus used and the restrictions it placed on the message sent from Slough are all fascinating subjects for further reading.



Glorious Devon

About 150 pieces (approx. 15 1⁄2"x12 1⁄4") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1930 to 1933.
Image derived from a photograph.



Springtime in Devon - Fingle Bridge

About 150 pieces (approx. 17"x11") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1930 to 1933. This is the early small version with the puzzle later being increased to 200 pieces and renamed to simply 'Fingle Bridge'.
The painting by Edith A.Andrews shows a view up the River Teign towards Fingle Bridge on Dartmoor.



Warwick Castle

About 150 pieces (approx. 12 1⁄2"x16") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1930 to 1933. This is the early small version with the puzzle later being increased to 200 pieces.
From a painting by Warwick Goble.

This image is known to have been used for a poster which advertised Warwick Castle in Shakespeare's Country England and was headed Great Western Railway of England presumably being aimed at the transatlantic market.



St. David's Cathedral

About 150 pieces (approx. 16 1⁄2"x11") in brown box with black label.
Published from 1930 to 1934. This is the early small version with the puzzle later being increased to 200 pieces.
The painting is not signed, but is attributed to A.Van Anrooy R.I. on the guide picture on the box.

This picture was used on a poster promoting St David's, Pembrokeshire South Wales.


Click or tap here to GO TO NEXT PAGE