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“16 Animali” Enzo Mari Puzzle

c. 1950

As indicated by its name, 16 Animali, the pieces of this puzzle include an elephant, a pig, a camel, a rhinoceros, and a dozen other animals. Though simplified and abstracted, the figures are easily recognized. While the design was typically produced in solid wood, this example is made of colored cardboard, black on one side and white on the other. The clever design lends itself to more than one kind of engagement. As individual animals, they invite imaginative play. As pieces of a puzzle, they present a challenge in spatial problem-solving when it comes time to put the toy away. 16 Animali was created in the early 1950s by Italian designer Enzo Mari for the acclaimed Milan-based design studio Danese Milano. Mari was an influential designer known for his wide-ranging contributions in furniture, homewares, and graphics. The Eameses’ appreciation of Mari’s work is evident from the number of his designs that they owned, including this puzzle, several of his silkscreen prints, a popular melamine pencil holder, and his Formosa wall calendar, which consists of changeable PVC sheets printed with months, days, and numbers that hang from an aluminum plate.

  • Medium:Cardboard, tissue paper
  • Dimensions:16 3/4 x 13 1/4 x 1/4 in. (42.5 x 33.7 x 0.6 cm)
  • Item:T.2019.2.332