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Chinese Puzzle Balls – The Rubik’s Cube of the Ancient World

For centuries, Chinese arts and crafts have been known around the world for their incredible beauty and finesse. If I were to pick a single object that best describes the Chinese attention to detail it would surely be an ivory puzzle ball. It’s definitely one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.

Chinese puzzle balls are ornate decorative items that┬áconsist of several concentric spheres, each of which rotates freely, carved from the same piece of material. Although the master carvers of old used ivory, in modern times you can find puzzle balls made of┬ásynthetic ivory, resin, wood, jade, and other materials. These detailed works of art are usually made up of at least 3 to 7 layers, but the world’s largest puzzle ball is actually made of 42 concentric balls all enclosed one within the other. Although the inner balls can be manipulated to align all the holes, Chinese puzzle balls got their name from people who, through the ages, pondered the mystery of making such objects.

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