10 Spanish Anvils
You knew we couldn't get through this without a Berrocal reference. Puzzle Palace has one of the largest Berrocal collections to be found. I know there are some who scoff at the quality and durability of the pieces, but to me they are just beautiful. I remember an art exhibition in HK called "Naked Art". We had to take off all jewelry and be blindfolded. Upon entering a room, we were encouraged to touch the art on display. I loved the sensation and perhaps that is why I love the Berrocals. They just feel nice.
This set is called Desperta Ferro (Opus 240-249). They were made between 1979 and 1982. Each piece has been built around an anvil and has a number of different pieces. Our set is quite unique in that each one has the same serial number: 41/200. Having had many conversations with the members of the Berrocal foundation, I've come to realize that these are much more unique than I expected. While it says this was a run of 200 it may not have necessarily been so. Usually when I see these pieces come up for auction it is one piece at a time. I have never seen a full set for sale.
These were made as part of his multiples that were produced. The original sculptures were a set of 20 - ten were the Desperta Ferro and ten were the Almogávares. The latter are a rather large set of torsos that can often be found on display in different museums around the world. These were inspired by the warriors sent to Constantinople by the King of Aragon between the 13th and 14th centuries. Each anvil has the name of a member of these warriors. If I understand correctly, the original Desperta Ferro were made of wooden pieces shaped around the anvils and are no longer in existence. Later the Desperato Ferro series were made into the smaller brass versions you see here.
Pictured below are our set. As you can see, only one is polished. We have chosen (for now) to leave the rest with their natural patina. Each piece is rather heavy as they are built around an actual anvil. I'd guess they come in between 10 and 15 pounds. Should you ever visit PuzzlePalace, the pieces are available for disassembly as are all the other Berrocal's in our collection.
9 golfing clubs
Pool? Who cares about pool? Golf is the way to go. I started playing to get into George's good graces (read pants) and have loved it ever since. We play at least 3 times a week. George more than that because he plays with the ancients twice weekly. These sticks? They are the main clubs my beautiful lover uses. me? Not so much on the woods I like the irons myself. I myself am a dæmon with the 4 iron! And heaven forbid you cross me while I've a driver in my hand. The last time someone did that, his bedroom door window was smashed.
8 pool table balls
Ok. So as it turns out, puzzles are not the only thing in our lives. We've a beautiful rainbow pool table in the billiards room and we have been known to shoot a game or two. Although, I must admit, My beautiful lover is much much better at the game than I am. Come on over and challenge him to a game or two. He'll love it. This table was shipped over from China and installed while we were on the container ship heading home. It's a 9 foot professional table. Much harder to play on than the ones we find in the local pool halls.
7 Christmas puzzles
Now I know most of you are thinking these are puzzles I was gifted for Christmas, but they are not. Each of these puzzles was a part of my Christmas decorations this year. The large Christmas tree in the background is called "Around the Christmas Tree". It is from Bits and Pieces and was produced in 1997. This 750 piece Jigsaw puzzle when assembled can be glued and stood up as you can see here.
Under the tree from Left to right is a snowman jigsaw ball by Ravensburger. It has 77 pieces and was produced in 2007. You might be able to find it on eBay, or at Ravensburger.
Next up we have a hand carved and painted Santa that I got off eBay many many years ago. His sack is a disentanglement puzzle, and inside he holds yet another disentanglement.
Next to him is a gingerbread man cube from Professor Puzzle. It's been out of stock for a few years and I was lucky to find this on eBay. There is also a Santa, and an Elf in this collection.
The Christmas tree was produced by Jeruel in 2016. It has 69 pieces and comes in both green and white. As far as crystal puzzles go, this is an easy solve. Too bad there are no ornaments to go on it.
In the front row we have a Rubik's brand 1x2x3 shapemod made by PolyTwist Designs. Somewhere along the way Winning Moves picked it up and branded it. There is a much cheaper version available elsewhere.
The final puzzle in this photo was made by yours truly. I was upset last year because there are very few Christmas puzzles outside of sticker variations on Rubik's cubes. I went to TJMaxx and bought a box set of these Chinese made burr puzzles and a few eyes, pipe cleaners and baubles. An afternoon with the hot glue gun and a bit of creativity later and I made 8 different Christmas puzzles. All are still fully functional as a puzzle.
6 New Brass Monkeys
We all know them. Those two gents from the UK who seriously must be over compensating for something with all this heavy metal hanging around. Really, these puzzles could have been made of plastic or wood and people would have been satisfied. But noooo, they had to go the extra mile and make everyone who doesn't have these get brass envy. I can't wait to see them come out with a set of brass (puzzle) balls.
First up we have the trio of Brass Monkey's: the classic one, two, and three. These are tough little buggers. The first step is of course to work out how to get the protection off without breaking it. The last thing anyone wants is broken protection. Then, there are these dumb buttons you have to push. I broke a nail trying to solve one of these things. George had much more luck than I did with them.
5 Puzzle Rings
The colorful one on the left was made by Carl Hoff. I believe it is called Wasp. It can be purchased in a much smaller version at Puzzleringmaker. This particular version was sold to me at an IPP a few years back. It's much to large even as a bracelet. I can wear it around my upper arm.
The large yellow one was made by Oskar and I'm sure you can still find it on his shapeways shop or on Puzzleringmaker. Again, I bought this at an IPP many years ago. At the time, it was raining and the dye had not quite set yet. I looked like I had urine running down my arm from the dye. The green ring is also made by Oskar. This one can be unwound and worn like a necklace. This and other variations of it can be found on Oskar's shapeways shop.
The grey ring was made for me by George. I wanted a puzzle ring that was attributed to Miguel Berrocal but was actually made by Antonio Bernardo. I didn't realize this at the time, and only later discovered taht his rings sell for upwards of $5000. George made 3 copies of this ring. We gave one to his son Joe and the other two are in my collection. They were made on an SLA printer in Hong Kong, and he says as they are so much work, he'll never make another. I'd love to have one made in metal and perhaps one day I'll send his design off to Thailand...This copy is sufficiently different from the original to not be a copy. He didn't want to make me an exact duplicate.
The final gold ring is my wedding band. It was designed by Oskar for George and me. The difference between this ring and other puzzle rings is that all three bands can be separated when the ring is taken apart. George's has a phallus like protrusion while you can see mine has an opening. Yes, they can be combined in a rather interesting manner. Oskar sells a rated G version called trinity ring on his shapeways page.
4 (00+) Crystal Puzzles