Advertising Photographer Dexterity Puzzle


Dexterity Puzzle. Advertisement for C.J. Kenny Company, Photographer, c.1905. Germany. 2 ½“ diameter. Glass-topped with lithographed paper background. Mirror on reverse. Overall good condition; mirror has mottling. 

Hand-held dexterity puzzles—also known as palm puzzles, games of skill or “patience games”—have been a source of fascination for adults and children since the late 19th century. The pocket-sized, maddeningly simple games could be found in doctors' offices, train stations, and in rainy-day game rooms of seaside resorts—in essence, anywhere that required waiting. Like today’s smart-phone apps, their ubiquity made them an ideal medium for illustration, graphic design and advertisements; hence they have become a delightful and revealing artifact of popular culture.

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