If you have someone in your life you would like to give a collectible or vintage wood puzzle to as a gift, but don’t have the faintest idea of how to select one or what they may like we have put together a little guide to help you. However, keep in mind that, like art, what someone may like in one puzzle may not mean they like a similar one. Over the years we have found that puzzle buyers are very selective and determining what someone likes it is very subjective. We have had some puzzles in our inventory that we were sure one of our regular buyers would like, and, in fact, it was not something they had an interest in. So the intent of this blog is to give some guidance, but you can never be 100% sure it will be a good fit.
Do they have a certain manufacturer in their collection?
This is always the simplest place to start. If you know they seek to collect a certain wood puzzle brand, such as Par Puzzles, Stave Puzzles or Madmar Puzzles, then your job just got a whole lot easier. Ask to see their collection and make a note of what they have. Depending on your budget, some of the puzzles may be too expensive for a gift, but feel free to contact us for suggestions for similar type puzzles that they may like as an addition to their collection.
If there is not a dominate brand, do they collect a certain type of puzzle?
There are almost as many reasons a collector has got into collecting a certain type of puzzle as there are different types of collections. Beyond collectors who solely are trying to collect a certain brand, here are a few examples of different types of collections (all wood) that you may come across:
a) Puzzles only from the depression era or before (The depression was a peak of sorts for the puzzle industry, and many, many puzzle manufacturers were around during that time.)
b) Puzzles from the 19th century
c) Pieces cut in particular shapes (“silhouette”, “figurine” or “whimsical” pieces as they are often called)
d) Certain themes within the image (e.g. animals, landscapes or historical events)
e) “Project puzzles” – they are looking to refurbish puzzles and looking for ones that might be missing pieces, have chips or other issues they can fix
f) Puzzles of a certain size in terms of piece count (usually it’s on the larger side)
g) In the case of Stave puzzles, certain types of Staves; Stave produces several different kinds of puzzles including teasers, tricks, and treats and some puzzlers prefer certain ones over others (for more info see our blog post called: What Exactly Are Stave Puzzles?)
There are also collectors that have very eclectic tastes and are just looking to buy any vintage or antique wood puzzle they can get their hands on, regardless of condition, size, brand or subject matter. Obviously this will be the easiest person to pick one for as there will be a lot of choices!
Selecting a puzzle for a collector is never an easy thing if you don’t know their tastes very well. At the end of the day, if you are uncertain if you think they will like it, it is probably best to surprise them with a “custom gift certificate” that allows them to select their own puzzle you will buy, then you know they will get exactly what they want. You never know what may catch their eye.