German (?) puzzles

I recently bought a box of puzzles that was sold as being German. They are very similar to the Shackman and Reichel figures, but do appear to be quite old. Does anyone have any information on them? The picture of one of them is below - a Sailor playing an accordion.

Posted on March 2, 2015 .

Shackman Rabbit

The latest one to add to my collection. This is the easter Rabbit, there is also a Chick which may have been a seasonal puzzle, a Santa and I have seen pictures of a pumpkin (one on my wish list!). Fairly standard puzzle with a wedge piece with the head attached. Similar to the Reichel puzzles. 

Posted on February 25, 2015 .

Expensive month

Isn't it always the way, no interesting puzzles for a couple of months, then loads all at once. Still waiting on bids for a few items, but have a collection of Kumiki and 9 Journet puzzles on their way. Pictures to follow.


Posted on February 24, 2015 .

More puzzles!!

Yes, I have just won another ebay auction. This time there are some REALLY rare puzzles :) Interestingly, the 3 puzzles they had as the main picture were actually the most common of the puzzles - a Torii, a small boat and round burr puzzle. Most times that I see the word 'rare' in puzzle description I am a bit flippant - "Yeah I have six of that one!" - but this time there are 3 that I don't have and one that is actually fairly rare. Not even an elephant, cube, ball or pig in the selection. I did have to spend a bit more than I hoped as 2 other people bid it up over the last day. 

So what is in the selection ? I will post pictures when I have received them - and one of the ones they photographed and described was completely different to the name they gave it.

Watch this space..........................................................

Posted on February 20, 2015 .

Red Torii

Nice Torri kumiki. This one has been painted and is slightly smaller than my other Torii puzzles. When received some of the pieces were mis-placed and showed the natural wood. Once re-assembled it shows A&C Japan on the bottom. Not sure who or what this means, so need to do a bit of research. Anyone out there have any clues?

Posted on February 17, 2015 .

Added pictures

Been photographing more of my collection. Not quite happy with the cube yet, will need to work in this, but so many puzzles to photo!!

Posted on February 8, 2015 .

New puzzles :)

2 boxes of puzzles turned up today. These were bought from a collector who is downsizing their collection. Some very nice examples, particularly of pen holders (may need a new section for these). See also the first use of the 1" cube. I will be changing it slightly, but I hope it does give an idea of the size of the puzzle.

Posted on February 3, 2015 .

Why did I buy 5 x 1" cubes?

So I received a package today, and inside were 5 wooden cubes, each one is 1" a side. So you may ask why I bought 5 - what kind of puzzle was I thinking of?

Well this is actually to give scale to the photographs I am taking, lots of collectors put something in the photograph to indicate scale, and also to show that the picture was from their own website. 

Next step is to print on the cubes - I did think of getting them branded, similar to Mr. Puzzle, but saw a video on how to print onto wood. Looked easy, but I decided that I may need a couple of attempts to get this - hence 5 cubes :)

I will try to document the process and share it here, but you will soon be seeing a printed cube in each of my pictures.

Posted on January 27, 2015 .

Photo enhancement

Following on from the previous post - I have downloaded GIMP, a free image editing piece of software. This has allowed me to do some colour correction and especially white balance correction. The results are very good. The cat here is a recent acquisition and I used both colour and white balance on the original image. You can see the difference it makes :) Click on the image to switch between the original and enhanced image

Posted on January 21, 2015 .

New photo booth

Santa brought me a nice new photo booth. This is a white cube with a built in tripod and some new lighting. Been trying it out and here is one of the results. Needs a bit more adjustment for front lighting, but getting much better lighting and pictures from it.

Posted on January 13, 2015 .

Send in the Clown

Here is a family shot of the German made puzzles, including the last clown that I needed to complete the set. There is also a Santa and Bear (which I have), but not pictured. Each figure is the same basic puzzle, which was also used for the Shackman figures, and also for some old German puzzles I have, but these were made by Gunter Reichel in the 1980's.

Posted on December 3, 2014 .

Site rename

The site has been renamed "Puzzle Athanaeum", this is for a couple of reasons. Firstly the pottypuzzles site was a trading site and this is not really the same, also I wanted a name that was more appropriate to a site that is sharing information.

Below is an extract from an online dictionary and as you can see it has been used over the years for buildings that housed information. As this is the 21st Century I though it was reasonable to use the term for a website.

ath•e•nae•um or ath•e•ne•um (ˌæθ əˈni əm, -ˈneɪ-) 


1. an institution for the promotion of literary or scientific learning.

2. a free library or reading room maintained by such an institution.

[1720–30; < Latin < Greek Athḗnaion temple of Athena, where poets read their works]

Posted on November 26, 2014 .

Panda and Cat

So I was looking through some of my older kumiki puzzles and found these two. I was checking if I had a Koala, which a friend picked up whilst in Japan, but unfortunately I didn't. The Panda still had a small bell inside, whilst the cat has lost it's one. Fairly simple puzzles, with a twist as the first move. Approx 2" tall.

Posted on November 17, 2014 .

Gunter Reichel puzzle

Yippeee!!! got the final puzzle that Gunter Reichel made, based on an old Kumiki design. This one is a clown with a round topped hat. Unfortunately the seller only ships inside Germany, so it is being sent to a puzzle friend who will then pass it on. I will post a picture when it arrives, but below is the picture I bought it from.

Posted on November 5, 2014 .

New Kumiki

As mentioned these are the 2 new Kumiki I received recently (click on image to swap)

The ship is quite different to the normal ones and the plan looks like a 1950s jet of some kind.

If you know any more about these puzzles then please let me know.


Posted on November 4, 2014 .

More Kumiki

Loaded a couple more Kumiki animal pictures. Recently bought a ship and plane, both of which are different from the normal ones - pictures to follow.

If you have any Kumiki you think may be of interest then please get in touch, always happy to add to my collection :)

Posted on November 3, 2014 .


So the old pottypuzzles site has at last been redeveloped!!

Originally I setup the site to allow me to buy puzzles from companies around the world and sell them on - increasing my collection and helping to fund my addiction =)

Now I am using it to document the main puzzles I collect and to share some of my designs and thoughts on puzzles. I do plan to list some duplicates and a wish list, so if you are interested, then drop me a line and I will confirm when I do this.

The site is still a work in progress, but any comments are welcome.


Posted on October 31, 2014 .