This illusion was debuted at either the 1957 or 58 PCAM Convention at the Disneyland Hotel. It was performed by John Daniel with his then-wife Irene as the "sawee." It stunned the audience. I know, I was in the audience. It was one of the great moments of magic that I've experienced in my life.
I believe this was well-before Tihany had one. Indeed, I believe he did a double sawing - originally developed for Channing Pollack by Bill Taylor - built by Les Smith at Owen Magic many years later.
While Zungar may deserve the credit for the origination of the effect, it was John Daniel, doubtless with contributions by Carl Owen, who brought a strong sense of design to the prop, adding the Queen Anne legs, a top class paint job and other design changes to the prop. Pictures of the Zungar prop that ran in Genii showed something far below the quality of the prop that John built. I just walked past a new one yesterday at Owen Magic and it remains one of the most gorgeous props in magic.
Kirkham, with the help of Jim Summers, built his own version using an wedge-design Asrah table as a base as his wife was bigger than Irene. It was also quite deceptive and the boxes folded down into the table for ease of transport.
Later models incorporated radio-controlled feet.
It should be noted that Carter the Great had a Thurston-style Sawing (the big boxes) that had the sides drop down to supposedly show the girl laying there in two pieces. I don't know if more than Carter's one model were ever made as that's the only one I've ever seen or heard of.