Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 53

An Early American Puzzle Map

"New Dissected Map of the United States",

Subject: Cartographic Puzzle, United States

Period: 1865 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

10.8 x 6.9 inches
27.4 x 17.5 cm
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This rare, complete, and early puzzle map of the United States was produced by Jacob Shaffer in Philadelphia. Shaffer was one of several Philadelphia-based firms including Thomas Wagner, M.H. Traubel, and Davis, Porter & Co. who were competing against the larger Milton Bradley and McLaughlin Brothers in this growing category. The map is dated circa 1865 as Wyoming Territory had not yet been organized from Dakota Territory (here shown as attached to Dakota), and Nevada has not yet gained its southern tip from Arizona and eastern portion from Utah. The 24-piece puzzle is made from thick, 3/8" wood and is housed in a solid wood box with paper title label attached to the top featuring the United States seal. The banner is filled with a quote from Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus stating "The Eagle Suffers Little Birds To Sing."

This example was presented to "Joseph Rhoads, Jr from his Grandmother" in 1867 (signed in pencil on the bottom of the box).

References: Williams [The Jigsaw Puzzle] p. 24.

Condition: B+

The puzzle is very good given its intended use with light overall soiling. There are a few minor surface abrasions and small holes in the corners as issued from the stack-cut manufacturing process. The guide map is worn from use with minor loss and along with several fold separations/small tears that have been partially closed on verso with paper. The original wooden box is very good with light wear and small loss to the paper label.

Estimate: $300 - $375

Sold for: $275

Closed on 9/11/2019