THE WEDDING-RING BOX - ANTIQUE PUZZLE 1880 - HOFFMANN
THE WEDDING-RING BOX is one of the mechanical puzzles dependent on some trick or secret, which are often described as Hoffmann puzzles. Not that Professor Hoffmann was the originator. He was a barrister by trade and a magician and puzzler in his spare time who, in 1893, published a book listing 400 important and interesting puzzles.
This example is in boxwood and is turned and polished with identical design, top and bottom. It contains a wedding ring (although here I have used an engagement ring) which can be heard to rattle within and which has to be extracted.
This is a very clever puzzle because the initiated invariably take it for granted that the box must unscrew or otherwise open at the mark around its centre, whereas the actual opening must be sought in another direction. To open the box, press firmly on one of the central bosses and a circular wooden piece will be forced out revealing the ring. It measures 5.5cms diameter.