THE BRAHMIN'S RINGS - ANTIQUE PUZZLE 1880s by Perry & Co - Hoffman's Puzzles
This antique example of The BRAHMIN'S RINGS puzzle is featured on page 221 of Edward Horden's wonderful updated version of Hoffman's Puzzles Old and New. The photograph there shows the very same puzzle - the one here being one example of the the same design, manufactured between 1880 and 1900 by the company Perry & Co between 1880 and 1900.
This very clever puzzle is professedly based on a Hindu legend as follows:
At the beginning of the world, Brahma set up in the great Temple of Benares three diamond pyramids. Round the first of them he hung sixty-four rings, made of the purest gold and arranged in regular order the largest ring encircling the foot of the pyramid and the smallest its top. Brahma asked the priests to transfer the sixty-four rings from the first pyramid to the third, transposing one ring at a time only and putting it either on a vacant pyramid or on a later ring. By the time you have executed the task the end of the world will be near.
Not a task many might undertake, so the puzzle has been modified. The number of rings was reduced to 8 and instead of gold, we have discs of cardboard coloured alternately orange and black. The three diamond cones are represented by three wooden slabs, each one with a cylindrical peg standing in the centre. The method of transfer is the same as laid down in the legend.
The box and contents are in excellent condition for age. On the bottom of the box is written "L Kirner, September 1894" together with his Oxford address which is a nice piece of provenance