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 a.v.n. jones & co. : surfing jigsaws, 1930 

A.V.N. Jones & Co. Ltd. : Surfing Jigsaws, c1930.
 A.V.N. Jones: Surfing Jigsaws.
64 Fore Street, London, England.
Artists: Fortunino Matania, Charles E. Turner, Unaccredited.

Three highly unusual surf riding images, contributed from the collection of Henry Marfleet, March 2011.
Many thanks to Henry for these items and continuing enthusiastic support.
Although dating of such items is difficult, Henry notes that one of his South African jigsaw boxes (#2) "has been written on mentioning Xmas gift in 1931", hence all these examples have been dated c1930, which appears consistant with other known details.

David Shearer, at his excellent website The Jigasaurus has an entry for jigsaws manufactured by  A.V.N. Jones & Co. Ltd.:

The page links to several examples from the Australian and the South African series:
Album: Australian Series, The
Similar in style, but considerably less extensive than the South African Series, probably both produced c1920-1930's.

Album: Hitting the Australian Trail
Scarce puzzle made from a painting by Fortunino Matania (Italian-1881-1963).

Album: In the Blue Gums' Azure Shadow: An Australian Bush Picnic
Rare 150 piece plywood jigsaw in the Australian Series, again from a print of a painting by Fortunino Matania.

"02. Surf-riding at Muizenburg:The Queen of Cape Coast Watering-places.
Quite a scarce puzzle from the very interesting South African Series.
Interestingly the box lid features a different image, quoting "Angling for Big Game in South African Waters", although the box base, which lists the titles available, correctly identifies this as the correct box for this puzzle, indeed the title on the box front does not show on the list at all.
I suspect that the box lid photograph was used as an example of the series, rather than as a guide picture for the contents.

Henry also noted the following
"A.V.N. Jones And Co.
1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair.
Publishers of Calendars (selling and advertising), Pictures, Postcards.
Sole makers of the Delta Fine Art Series of Jig Saw Puzzles.
(South African and International Views etc.) (Stand No. R.108).

Grace's Guide: the Best of British Engineering 1750 -1960s.

Also see Notes, below:

Fortunino Matania : Night Surfing, Australia, c1930.
Box Cover

The Australian Series of Jigsaw Puzzles
About 150 Pieces.

Artistic reproductions.
Fine Colours
Picturesque Scenes in Australia

Size About 15 x 10

About 150 Pieces.
Surfing Beaches
Mountain Scenery
Great Barrier Reef
Sport and Social Life
Size About 15 x 10
                Surf Bathing by Spotlight. The Sport of the Australian Summer.
From the Original painting by F. Matania.
Manufactured by A.V.N. Jones & Co, Ltd.
64 Fore Street, London, England. 

Notes: Matania

Subjects reproduced by the courtesy of  The Australian 
National Travel Association, Grand Buildings, 
Trafalgar Square, London, W.C.2.
and "The Sphere".
Made in England

(Cardboard on plywood)

Box Image

The South African Series of Jigsaw Puzzles
Box rear:

The South African Series of 
Jigsaw Puzzles
Titles of Subjects.
2. - Surf-riding at Muizenberg: 
The Queen of the Cape Coast Watering Places.
5. - Surf-Riding

Made exclusively by
A.V.N. Jones & CO., LTD.
64 Fore Street, London, E.C.2.

No. 2 : Surf-Riding at Muizenberg, c1930.
(Cardboard on plywood)

The South African Series of Jigsaw Puzzles

Surf-Riding at Muizenberg:
The Queen of the Cape Coast Watering Places.

(Charles E. Turner)

Image courtesy of
Peter Robinson
Museum of British Surfing
July 2011.
Peter noted: "this is a rare 1930s English jigsaw in our collection".

Notes: Turner

Box cover:

The South African Series of Jigsaw Puzzles.

Surf-riding at Muizenberg: 
The Queen of the Cape Coast Watering Places.

(Charles E. Turner)


No. 5 : Surf-Riding, c1930.

(Cardboard on plywood)

The South African Series of Jigsaw Puzzles


Box cover:
The South African Series 
of Jigsaw Puzzles.


Coloured box cover:
The South African Series 
of Jigsaw Puzzles.


Surf-Riding in South Africa
Union-Castle Line, c1930.

Fortunino Matania :Surf Bathing by Spotlight.
Some observations:
1. The jigsaw format, likely 1930's, probably post-dates the original painting as indicated by Henry Marfleet.
2. The painting possibly dates sometime before 1929, during his time at The Sphere (as accredited) and after which Matania concentrated on "scenes of ancient high life".
3. Almost certainly reproduced and/or adapted from a photograph, though the original image was unlikely to be taken at night.
4. Possibly a Sydney beach, either Manly or Bondi.
5. The female rider has possibly been "converted" from a male rider.
6. Note her bright costume and colour co-ordinated cap and shoes (?).

Henry initially noted:
"From an original painting by F. Matania (Fortunino Matania), bit on the web about him, could not find anything about this picture.

Apparently he was an internee at Tatura Camp in around 1942, whereas in the WW1 he was a copious illustrator of “the Sphere” in the UK.
Be interesting to know the beach location (I think it could well have been painted from photo’s or info provided to him, so not an actual place or surfers), but then again he was in Oz in 1940’s so could have emigrated earlier, wonder where the original is?"

Bradshaw, Percy V.F.: Matania and his work
London : Press Art School, [19--]
Matania, Fortunino, b. 1881.; Illustrators - Great Britain - Biography.
"This study of F. Matania and his technique is the third of a series, to be completed in twenty parts, dealing with the Art of the Illustrator".

Drawing From History : The Forgotten Art of Fortunino Matania. (due summer 2011)

The Sphere Newspaper

The Sphere (full title: The Sphere: An Illustrated Newspaper for the Home) was a British newspaper, published weekly from 27 January 1900 until the closure of the paper on 27 June 1964; the first issue came out at the height of the Boer War and was no doubt a product of that conflict and the public appetite for images.
At the time, it was in direct competition with The Graphic and Illustrated London News.

Fortunino Matania

"In 1904, Matania joined the staff of The Sphere where some of his most famous work was to appear, including his illustrations of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
Around 1906-1910 he painted the life in the lobby of the Roman Hotel Excelsior". (see link below).
"At the outbreak of the First World War, Matania became a war artist and was acclaimed for his graphic and realistic images of trench warfare.
His painting for the Blue Cross entitled Goodbye, Old Man, showing a British soldier saying farewell to his dying horse, is a fine example of his emotive work.
But it was after the war, when he switched to scenes of ancient high life for the British woman's magazine, Britannia and Eve, that Matania found his real career.
When Britannia and Eve was launched in 1929, Matania became one of its first contributors."

Ancient history images by Matania at Look and Learn.

The Australian National Travel Association

"The Australian National Travel Association (ANTA) was established on 1 July 1929, 'to place Australia on the world's travel map and keep it there'.
Although a proportion of its funding was provided by the Federal Government, ANTA was governed by a board representing the interests of Australian Railways, shipping, hotel and other business that stood to benefit from an increase in tourism.
Additional funds were levied from members and raised from the sales of the magazine Walkabout, published from 1934 to 1974."

- National Library of Australia

"In consequence of a recommendation by the Development and Migration Commission, the Australian National Travel Association was inaugurated by the Commonwealth Government in 1929 as a national, non-profit organisation under the Companies Act 1928 of Victoria.
The Commonwealth Government authorised an annual contribution of $4,000 for five years to ANTA, whose initial annual budget was $35,000.
By 1930 Australian publicity and travel pro-motion offices were established in London and San Francisco."

- Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 1966

Charles E. Turner :
Surf-riding at Muizenberg: The Queen of the Cape Coast Watering Places.
Henry Marfleet notes:

"# 2 "Surf-riding at Muizenberg: The Queen of the Cape CoastWatering Places" by Charles E. Turner, it’s the version on .
I have two of this one, both missing a number of pieces, as they are hand cut I cannot inter-change the pieces to make the full set.
Deciding if I should take up an offer of £9 per piece for the 3 missing pieces in the better condition one I have.
The box of this one has been written on mentioning Xmas gift in 1931.
I also have an old South African travel book (Cook’s Tours in South Africa, for the 1934/35 travel season) which has same illustration in it".

"Charles E. Turner (b.1893; d.1965)
Charles E. Turner was born in Lancaster, but based in Liverpool, an artist who specialised in landscape and marine views.
Proficient in watercolours aand oils, Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy in London as well as Manchester and Liverpool.
Turner fought in both the First and Second World Wars, as a captain, Fleet Air Arm, combining active service with service as a war artist, signing his work C.E. Turner.
Inter-war Turner had developed series of illustrations for Thomas Forman and Cunard, becoming a 'series of excellent postcards'.
His best-known work, however, dates from the two wars.
Turner designed for Churchill Cigar Boxes, and, alongside paintings demonstrating his first-hand experience of combat, produced illustrations for Illustrated London News and Sphere magazines.
These included 'closely observed and highly detailed' naval actions, which presented 'a heightened sense of the drama of events and these appeared as double-page spreads'.
He died on April 14 1965.
Many of his oil and watercolour paintings of the two World Wars are preserved in the collection of the National Maritime Museum, London, and at the IWM, London."

- Information collated from: National Maritime Museum, Biography of Charles E Turner.

Surfboard Riding.
Eric Rosenthal notes:
"Surfboards were used at Muizenberg in 1904.
They were made by H.W. Porter, a local boat builder, from 2.2 cm (1 in.) pine shelving.
The dimensions were 1.5 m (5 ft.) long by 45 cm (18 in.) wide."

- Rosenthal, Eric, Total South Africa (Pty) Limited: Total Book of South African Records.
Delta Books, 1982, page 141.

See Source Documents:
1921 Lord Hamilton : Surfriding at Muizenberg, South Africa.
1922 Agatha Christie : Torquay, Muizenberg, and Waikiki.

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Geoff Cater (2011-2016) : A.V.N. Jones : Surfing Jigsaws, c1930.