Soapstone Puzzle Ball
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.
Puzzle Ball measures 4.5″ in diameter
Add the acrylic 3-leg stand for $15.00 (017-050)
Every carving is unique. Soapstone coloration varies. Actual item may vary slightly.