Puzzle friends, this post has been a long time in the making. I got this over a year ago, and had the best of intentions of assembling it before we moved to Halifax. But this puzzle had other plans for me.
Let’s start off with how I got this puzzle in the first place. I’m sure everyone out there knows that I buy about 90% of my puzzles from the thrift store. Some I purchase new, others are gifted, and some of the really good ones have been scouted by my friend Matt. Matt enjoys a thrift dig now and then too, and sometimes I’ll get a DM from him while he’s out thrifting.
Matt has a really good eye, the first puzzle he ever got for me was Where’s Waldo: the Deep Sea Divers (for my birthday). We then went on to build a little thrifty puzzle chat and I’ve gotten other gems like Schimmel and a vintage wooden puzzle from around 1927, which I’ve assembled a few times but haven’t actually blogged about. Maybe it’s about time!
So Matt couldn’t get hold of me when he found this because I had my phone off for the day. But he thankfully got a hold of Joe and asked where I was. He sent Joe a photo of this puzzle and said that he was about to leave the thrift store, did he want me to grab it? I flipped out, I almost missed adding this rare and amazing puzzle into my collection. This puzzle sells on eBay for about $350 (which I would never pay) and Matt found it for $7.99!
The box was pretty damaged, water damage probably? But this is the 3000 piece Selegiochi M.C. Escher masterpiece puzzle depicting Metamorphosis II. It is not common that you can find these Selegiochi puzzles just at any thrift shop, I’ve only ever found one other and that was my Escher House of Stairs puzzle from years ago.
I was all ready to assemble this before the big move, I wanted to know if it was complete before moving it across the country. I had worked quite a bit on it over the course of a week and then one evening I put it away out of reach of the kitties, (read: foam board precariously balanced on top of a slender bookshelf). As I walked away, it came crashing down to the floor, scatting thousands of pieces everywhere and undoing all of my work.
It was immediate frenzy. Cats instantly on the scene, Joe ran in from the kitchen and I wailed in terror! I gave up. I put all the pieces back in the box and said, “I’ll assemble it in Halifax.” And that was that.
Well, I made good on my promise, I did it over my Christmas puzzle along in December. Those Christmas puzzles didn’t take me very long so in between festive puzzles, I took a black, white, green, and red graphic art break.
This was not half as hard as I though it would be. This stripes were hard for sure but everything else came together pretty smoothly! I was glad that I waited to get to Halifax to assemble it and that I spread it out over a month. I really savoured the puzzle experience.
So this puzzle is technically 4 panoramic puzzles, but you can lay them out end to end and you’ll see the entire piece. The whole thing measures more than 13 feet in length. Obviously, you can’t quite get the details in a photo but I wanted to show the whole strip, to get a sense of just how long this thing is!
I don’t even know how someone could come up with image, it is absolutely incredible! I’m speechless and I am so thankful to Matt for finding this puzzle last year, it was worth the wait.
It was missing one edge piece, who knows where it is? With the previous owner? Or in our old Vancouver Apartment? Or perhaps in the U-haul truck! I don’t miss it though and I do hope to frame this beauty. It has such a story behind it and reminds me of my good friends in Vancouver.
nosycurious, how often do you make the rounds and visit your fave thrift stores to treasure hunt for puzzles? Thrift stores get donations all the time so I would imagine that the selection changes quite frequently.
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Great question! I used to live down the street from a value village, so I would go often. Maybe 1-2 times a week? Then it burned down and then we moved from Vancouver to Halifax where the thrift stores are further out of the city and we don’t have a car. We were going a lot initially, because Joe hadn’t yet found a job and my schedule is flexible but now that we’re in a regular schedule routine… we’ll likely only get there about once a month at the most. Now, I tend to find multiple puzzles in a visit rather than one here and there. 🙂