Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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InicioReviewsNeed a home for 80,000 puzzles? Try an Italian castle.

Need a home for 80,000 puzzles? Try an Italian castle.

Need a home for 80,000 puzzles? Try an Italian castle.

Meet the Millers, George and Roxanne, owners of the world's largest collection of mechanical puzzles: physical objects that a puzzler holds and manipulates while finding the solution. In total, the Miller collection – an accumulation of collections, and a collection of collections – amounts to more than 80,000 puzzles. It consists of approximately five thousand Rubik's Cubes, including a 2-by-2-by-2 rendering of Darth Vader's head. And there are more than 7,000 wooden jigsaw puzzles, such as interlocking, polyhedral creations by Massachusetts puzzle maker Stewart Coffin; They form a hybrid of pine cones and snowflakes and are Mr. Miller's favorite. Mrs. Miller loves the 140 brass, bronze and gold puzzle sculptures by Spanish artist Miguel Berrocal; Goliath, a male torso in 79 pieces, “is a puzzle that all puzzlers want,” she said.

Until recently, the Miller Collection resided in the Puzzle Palace in Boca Raton, Florida, which filled his mansion and a museum (a small house) next door. Puzzles even took over the bathroom. Then last year, on a whim, the Millers purchased a 52-room 15th-century palace in Panicale, a village in central Italy. He packed his puzzle collection into five 40-foot shipping containers and, for his own transit, booked a cruise from Miami to Rome.

Before leaving in April, the Millers went on a two-month road trip – “one last hurrah,” Mr. Miller called it – visiting enigmatic friends from coast to coast. Along the way he collected more puzzles. In Garden Grove, California, they loaded a cargo van full of 58 boxes from Marty Reece, who donated his collection of fascinating puzzles created by designer RG Watkins, such as the Diamond Ring, with a metal ring passing through the center of the coin. One penny. Puzzle maker Lee Krasno, who has production facilities in Portland, Ore., and Grand Rapids, Michigan, met the Millers at a puzzle party on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, and handed them his famous clutch box. Made from exotic hardwoods and precision machined metals, it opens with a subtle unlocking mechanism; The goal is simply “the thrill of opening it,” Mrs. Miller said. And then, “if you're daring,” Mr. Krasno said in an email, the goal is “to completely disassemble it into about 40 separate pieces.”

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