VICTORIAN, BOXWOOD PUZZLE BALL - EBONIZED FINIALS
This 2" (4.5cms) diameter Victorian Puzzle ball is probably one of the smallest examples of the genre. This example is in boxwood and like all boxwood has aged from its original light, cream to a beautiful deep, buttery colour.
It dates from around 1880 and like all treen (wooden) puzzle balls has a series of concentric rings turned at even points on the sphere. It looks perfectly like just a beautiful, ornamental object. But these items were designed to puzzle the person who heard an object rattling inside. How to get it out by getting inside?
The raised, concentric turning on this ball has been done in the original boxwood and then stained to appear as ebony and so described as being ebonised. One of the pips on one of the finials, when pushed hard enough pushed out the section to reveal the compartment, or in this case a spindle. Maybe used for keeping small rings?
I have never seen this design before - if you look in the archive section you will see examples of the more common design of puzzle ball