Winterthur Museum knows how to hit the trends: A 300-piece puzzle made out of its new U.S. postage stamp is flying out of the gift shops, thanks to a love of spring, Winterthur and the puzzlemania attributed to the coronavirus quarantine.
“They’re selling phenomenally,” said Ellen Taviano, general manager of retail and licensed products for H.F. du Pont’s storied estate.
As of Monday, she only had four of the $22 puzzles left in stock from the first delivery of 50. More are on their way. (The Winterthur Stamp Puzzle can be purchased here.)
The puzzle and the stamp show the mansion’s reflecting pool in full bloom in spring, shot by Allen Rokach. The lilac, white and pink shades against varying shades of green evoke the feeling of a Japanese garden.
“It’s a fabulous photo,” Taviano said. Du Pont designed most of his gardens himself and the reflecting pool was designed by pioneering landscape architect Marian Coffin.
Winterthur is one of 10 scenes featured in the U.S. Postal Services American Garden series.
Taken between 1996 and 2014, the shots include Biltmore Estate Gardens; Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Chicago Botanic Garden; Coastal Maine Botanical Garden; Dumbarton Oaks Garden; The Huntington Botanical Gardens; Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park; Norfolk Botanical Garden; and Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens.
They are available now at U.S. Post Offices, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Winterthur was cheated of the First Day of Release event it had planned with the USPS.
Taviano got the puzzle in stock as the stamps were coming out because she works with a vendor who has a license with the U.S. Post Office.
“He knew the stamp was coming out and we worked together to do something quick in this crazy time when we can’t see each other,” Taviano said.
When the puzzles arrived two weeks ago, Winterthur sent out an email blast to members and people have been ordering online.
“But there’s also this tiny group of loyal people who come to our post office all the time, and they’ve been buying them,” Taviano said.
The stamp should be an afternoon or evening project, Taviano predicted. It won’t take people days to put together like a 1,000-piece puzzle might.
The puzzle is one of about 20 that Winterthur sells in its online store.