January 28, 2012

Stained Glass Picture Puzzle

This sketch is from a book published in 1915, drawn around 1900-1902, by a person of some renown.


On first glance this would appear to be a sketch for a stained glass window.
It is not. So what is it?
Find out below the fold...

It's a Secret Map!

It's by Lieut.-Gen. Sir Robert Baden-Powell, K.C.B., one of the founders of the Boy Scouts and the author of the original Scouting for Boys. Baden Powell was also an artist/illustrator who did the illustrations for Scouting for Boys and is reputed to have drawn every day of his life. In his book, My Adventures as a Spy, Baden Powell recounts how, as a spy during the Boer War, he would pose as a butterfly collector or an artist and draw disguised depictions of military positions, fortifications, etc. The book is a surprisingly jaunty look at being a British spy during the Boer War in the 1890's. Like Baden Powell, it is a strange mix of funny and creepy.

This is from the section called "The Value of Being Stupid"

On the other hand, the exceedingly stupid Englishmen who wandered about foreign countries sketching cathedrals, or catching butterflies, or fishing for trout, were merely laughed at as harmless lunatics. These have even invited officials to look at their sketch-books, which, had they had any suspicion or any eyes in their heads, would have revealed plans and armaments of their own fortresses interpolated among the veins of the botanist's drawings of leaves or on the butterflies' wings of the entomologist. Some examples of secret sketches of fortresses which have been used with success are shown on the following pages.

click to see a larger image

Anyway, I do like puzzle pictures, and I like the idea of real stained glass windows with hidden maps and puzzle components (without them being instruments of war, of course). Lots of ideas popping into my head.

Posted by Tom at January 28, 2012 09:49 PM