The Chinese puzzle ball can be categorized as a good luck charm
because it is decorated with symbolic figures and is in the shape of
the eternal circle. The outermost sphere contains a number of smaller,
freely moving balls, all enclosed within another. The multi-layered
sphere, which is an example of carving craftsmanship dating back to
ancient China, is also called a “mystery ball”. Each ball is decorated
with open work or pierce carvings, with the outermost spheres being
the most elaborately decorated ones. Two of the most common figures
presented on puzzle balls are the dragon and the phoenix, which
correspond to our yin (female) and yang (male) characteristics.
The dragon represents an emperor, or the husband and the phoenix
the empress or wife. A puzzle ball decorated with these figures
symbolizes a happy marriage blessed with success and prosperity.
The balls are carved by turning a solid ball on a lathe. Holes are drilled
towards the center and special L-shaped sharp tools are used to cut free
the innermost balls. The work starts with the longest tool being lowered
to the narrow bottom of each hole and rotated to cut the innermost ball
free. The work progresses from the inside out. The two outermost balls
are fused together to form a thicker layer so as to prevent breakage when
the elaborate carvings of the outermost layer are made. Puzzle balls come
in many sizes and materials-most are handmade from wood, resin, ivory,
soapstone, or jade. This ball is carved in soapstone.
Measures 50 mm in diameter. Add the acrylic stand for $1.50 (item 017-003)