Maridale Cottages by the Sea

Another puzzle by way of Hoefnagel, from Maridale Products ( in Pleasanton, California. Thin, mostly interlocking pieces, with a number of large oceanic whimsies. Seems more or less appropriate for this ocean-side landscape, but I was browsing Rebecca T’s puzzle blog for Maridale, and see the same set of whimsies on several different puzzles. Rebecca seems to enjoy Maridale …

It’s listed as a “Masterpiece Wooden Puzzle” with no other title or artist information. From the archived website (see more below), it seems like “Masterpiece” was their commissioned series — so someone wanted this particular image in a puzzle.

I think this was before laser cutting (Liberty started in 2005), so presumably hand cut. The fit was pretty loose, though.

The image is signed Lynne Prentice — I found a Lynne Prentice, artist and gallery owner, on the Internet, but I couldn’t find this image on her website. Are the trees Monterey pines?

This image has the date 2003 on it, but the box says “copyright 1999 Maridale Products”. What’s the copyright on? The box design? The puzzle design? Does that mean the design wasn’t specific to this puzzle, or maybe they were just lazy with the box ….? Anyway, Maridale is no longer active, but they seem to have been active for about 10 years, 1995-2005. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine has puzzle-related content on that URL from 1999-2005:

At Maridale we have been dedicated to creating unique and imaginative wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1995. … Elizabeth Maridale

Another earlier page has “The Maridale Tale” which is charming:

The Maridale Tale

Like many other immigrants at the turn of the century, Elizabeth Maridale’s father brought his family to the United States to give them a better life. Traveling by boat with only the goods they could carry meant that all the children’s toys had to be left behind. The winter holidays were soon upon them and the wages he earned as a furniture builder just covered the living expenses. But Elizabeth’s father was determined to give his children a special gift and decided to make a very extraordinary wooden puzzle. First he painted the family portrait on a flat piece of wood. Next he carefully carved the wood into puzzle pieces which included outlines of things loved by the family such as their dog, a favorite flower, their rocking chair, and the family crest.

– Elizabeth Maridale –

When Elizabeth and her little brother were given the puzzle it immediately became their most cherished possession. Many happy days and nights were spent playing with the puzzle, and it also became the talk of the family’s friends and neighbors. It wasn’t long before Mr. Maridale was urged by those who marveled at his handiwork to create more masterpiece puzzles for others to enjoy.

wayback machine, Feb. 10, 2003

Maridale’s Masterpiece custom wood puzzle pieces are hand drawn and cut from renewable hardwood.  The painstaking process gives you unique shapes and straight internal edges for a challenging and fun assembly.    The standard puzzle measures about 16″ (40.6 cm) X 12″ (30.5 cm) and includes about 350 pieces.   An example of some of the shapes included is shown below.

wayback machine, Dec. 10, 2002

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