ETHNOGRAPHY : ASIA
Ivory and wood puzzle ball. This ball is a fine example of the skill of the Chinese ivory carver. It contains nineteen concentric carved balls, making twenty in all. They are all carved from a single piece of elephant ivory and each ball is free-moving. The ball was made in China in the 19th century purely as an export piece. Carved ivory objects were popular with Europeans and many carvings were produced solely for the export market. The ball dates to about 1890 and is hung on a carved ebony stand.
National Museums NI