I've been on a mission since bringing Michelle home. I am hunting for all the Berrocal miniatures. (I'd love some of the full sized ones but my house just won't hold a puzzle of that size)
Miguel Oritz Berrocal (1933-2006) was a Spaniard who moved to Italy to set up a foundry to manufacture his puzzle torsos. From what information I have been able to gather, the largest, Goliath has 88 pieces and Otra and Otto are the smallest with 4 pieces each. The miniatures that I have been hunting all run around 20+ pieces.
In my hunt for these little treasures I discovered that Berrocal made micro pendants as well as some other jewelry. Now I don't plan on getting all of these as well, only two have caught my eye; Many More horses and David. I don't expect to get the horses any time soon as I've seen so few of them at any auction houses. (if anyone finds one let me know please!)
Back to David. He's beautiful! I managed to find this one at an insanely low price and couldn't pass it up. Besides that, what girl wouldn't want a naked mans torso hanging around her neck? Check out that spine! And those solid shoulders? BEAUTIFUL as I said.
Like all of these miniature Berrocal's, David is a puzzle. He is made up of 16 pieces including the base. And like others in the mini series, David also sports a mesh ring inside. (the miniatures have a solid ring, and as best I can figure from my sizer, it's about a size 5) For those of you with small enough fingers (this one is probably a size 4) who want to wear it, I would advise against it. See, in David's case the ring is made up of his genitalia. Not a huge problem, but people notice these things. Since I got him I've had more people comment on his bits than I have had notice any other necklace I've ever worn.
He's an easy lad to take apart and put back together again. To disassemble him, you unscrew the bit at the top that holds the cord. His shoulders come off first, and then the top two chest pieces slide over the top. His heart can be removed next, and as a guess I'm going to say it looks to me to be coral. The other side of his chest cavity needs removing and then the lower abdomen can be removed followed by the ring assembly and the genitalia. Finally, his thighs (and buttocks) can be unscrewed from the base. A very simple puzzle as far as these go. To reassemble, the pieces only go in one way-I know, that's what puzzles do-but in this case, it's all just sliding down on the main center column. I did have a bit of a hitch when I put the heart back in place. There was a need for a bit of wiggling. When he's completely put back together, he is still a bit loose. It seems his base and the hanging bit need to be lined up in some way.
I sit here researching the sculptor so I could give you a bit of information on him and as I do so, I've come across two very wonderful pages. One by an educator I've had the privilege to meet. And the other by a puzzle collector I one day soon wish to visit so I can play with his Berrocal's. Both of these pages have me drooling and turning green with envy. It seems I need to find a different line of work, or finish that funny hat. These things are expensive if you don't know where to look! In the mean time I continue my hunt....
Average prices on this one range from US$550 to US$1000 depending on where you go hunting.
Only 3 more miniatures to go.
As an aside, I am looking for the dimensions of Alexander. How tall is he? I have found one at a decent price, but if he's larger than the miniatures I'll have to pass him up.