1500, Art, MB

1500, MB, It’s a Doge’s Life on the Grand Canal, Clarke

This puzzle is very unusual, and it is not just because it only has two corners. It is an illustration of the Grand Canal in Venice with a lot of really minute details. Although the title in the box is simply Venice, the complete title of the illustration is It's a Doge's Life on the Grand Canal, by Graham Clarke. MB produced it in 1992. When I verified the puzzle, I got 1504 pieces. However, due to the very particular shape, there was no way to know whether the puzzle was complete or incomplete. For that reason, I put it together eventually, and I'm glad I did. The pieces have a very snug fit that I liked, although they seemed slightly different to other MB puzzles. I found the puzzle more challenging than I had expected. Buildings, boats, ships, inscriptions, text... There are a lot of details that are difficult to distinguish unless you have very good eyesight or you look very, very close. This puzzle would probably have been more enjoyable in 3000 pieces. In any case, it was very fun and it was luckily complete. I listed it later in the online store and the puzzle went to new hands...

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1500, Art, F.X. Schmid

1500, F.X. Schmid, Tribute to Nelson, William E. D. Stuart

The title of this naval battle is Tribute to Nelson, by the British artist William E.D. Stuart. He flourished as a painter in the mid-19th century, but there is not much information available about this painter or his works. That is surprising, since he has left some exceptional paintings, like this one. We are assuming it refers to British Admiral Horatio Nelson, but there is no reference to any particular battle or war event. Based on the information on the box, the reproduction for the manufacturer F.X. Schmid was a courtesy of the Rehs Galleries Inc. in New York, USA. After having searched the inventory, I haven’t found this painting, and it is very likely that it went to some private collector. I completed the puzzle in the summer of 2014. These naval battle puzzles are challenging when they are larger, but in this case it was doable, because there are many different fields of color. It has a lot of detail and variation in shades. Most naval battles have a lot of sea and sky pieces, and they are difficult, but in this painting the scene is full and there are plenty of references, so the puzzle is easy. Tribute to Nelson and...

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