Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Record Breaking Jigsaws

The humble jigsaw puzzle remains as popular as ever and this boredom-busting form of entertainment is loved by people of all ages and from all walks of life. Jigsaw puzzles first became popular in the 1700’s and the very earliest types of jigsaw were actually made from maps, cut up into smaller pieces. By the late 1700’s jigsaws were selling well commercially and the rest, as they say, is history. With advances in printing technology, jigsaws are able to break boundaries and enter the world record books. Here are a few of the most outstanding examples:

Image courtesy of jhritz, Flickr.

Largest Jigsaw Puzzle Ever Made:  According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest ever jigsaw puzzle was assembled at the former Kai Tak Hong Kong Airport on 3 November 2002. It took 777 people to construct the enormous puzzle, which measured 5428.8 m² and was made up of 21,600 pieces, each measuring 0.5 x 0.5 m. The puzzle was created by the Great East Asia Surveyors and Consultants Co LTD.

The largest commercially available jigsaw:  The previous record in this category was broken in 2011 when Ravensburger released the colossal “Keith Haring: Double Retrospect” puzzle. The puzzle only consists of 7 colours and contains 32,256 individual pieces, meaning that large areas of the puzzle contain blocks of a single colour. The finished puzzle measures 17’ x 6’, which would pose a challenge, as it would be difficult to find a large enough space in which to complete the puzzle in the average home. The box containing the pieces weighs in at a massive 42lb and comes with wheels and a handle for easy transportation.

Smallest Commercially Available Jigsaw:  According the Guinness Book of Records, the jigsaw in this category has to contain 500-1000 pieces for the record to be valid. The record goes to a 500 piece jigsaw depicting Macchu Picchu which measures 21 x 29.6 cm. The jigsaw is available from Tomax, who are based in China.

Image courtesy of The Travelling Bum, Flickr

Most Expensive Jigsaw:  The most expensive jigsaw ever sold at auction was sold in September 2005 for a bid of $27,000. The money raised from the sale went to a charity called the Golden Retriever Foundation. The puzzle was a handmade wooden puzzle by artist Rachel Paige Elliot. Elliot has a reputation for detailed craftsmanship and has won many awards for her work. The puzzle depicted a Golden retriever and her five puppies, and was entitled “The Outing”. The artist was 92 years old at the time of the sale.

It is easy to see that the world of jigsaw puzzles has created some fascinating and unique world records. These popular brainteasers that are even available as online jigsaws today, delight, relax and frustrate in equal measure, will surely continue to break new ground with the development of new technology which will create even greater extremes in the years to come.

This article has been produced on behalf of Feel Good Games, the free online games specialists offering you jigsaws, puzzles and other such games.

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