In 1817 a craze for the Seven-Piece Tangram Puzzle swept Europe and the USA. The simplicity and small number of pieces made this the most entertaining of this type of puzzle.
see slocum-early-tangram.htm
and Napoleon_Tangram.htm

The Tangram craze was followed immediately by the manufacture and sale of many other two-dimensional dissection puzzles throughout the 19th Century.

One of the most successful being the The Fifteen Piece Geometrical Dissection Puzzle.


One of the earliest sets is R.Ackermann, 101 The Strand, London. "Geometrical Recreations" of about c.1817. The book of 22 pages plus 14 plates of 109 figures to construct plus 3 plates of geometric figures.

Very shortly after producing the GEOMETRICAL RECREATIONS, Ackermann produced ARCHITECTURAL RECREATIONS. With pieces nearly an inch thick the object is to make 3D buildings.

Both Ackermann's sets have a strong aim of teaching as well as play

An example of Ackermann's Architectural buildings

Angenehine Architectonische UNTERHALTUNGEN

This is an interesting early set of Architectural problems.
We hope that one of our web readers will be able to date it for us.

Below is the full box label showing the monogram of the maker with C N within an M

John Jackson, in his chapter on Geometrical problems, asks the reader to cut out the 15 pieces then solve 7 problems.



This CIRCASSIAN PUZZLE was made by John Jaques
with book of unknown origin but possibly Wallis

The puzzle was sold under various names quite commonly as the CIRCASSIAN puzzle.

You can search the web endlessly to discover why the name "Circassian" was chosen. If you find any reasonable explanation, please tell our curator!

This example by Wallis probably dates from around 1819
The 15 piece puzzle is occasionally found in Mid-19th Century Compendiums of ivory puzzles.

The Puzzle Museum has two Chinese xylographic books without text they both show the same 14 plates.

One has the red stamp of "SUNSHING"

the other has the red stamp of "WOSHING" and additional indistinctly "Hong-Kong. Deals in Silks, Canton and Shanghai Gauzes, Chafre Shawls, Lacquered and Ivory Ware, Engraver on Seals, Star---- &c. "

Again we hope one of our readers will be able to add more information about there two books.

In about 1865 A.N.Myers & Co. were selling a book "Ninety New Moveable Puzzles". This comprised 12 plates from the original 15.
Mr Y.Katagiri donated a facsimile of the Japanese translation of Ninety New Moveable Puzzles" by Choen, the master of Shintenso. With preface dated 1877.

We hope to add more information here at a later date.