Puzzle Ball Turning Tools

World Chess Hall of Fame, Saint Louis, Missouri

World Chess Hall of Fame, Saint Louis, Missouri

If artisans want to make round or cylindrically-based pieces, they can turn them from raw material held firmly and spun between two fixed endpoints in a machine called a lathe. A sharp chisel is used to shape the material as it spins. The complex Manchu Dynasty Style Chinese Puzzleball Set of the 1800s, with its hollow, loose, lace-thin, concentric spheres turned inside each other from one solid ivory ball exemplifies the epitome of lathe turning prowess.

These tools were loaned to the World Chess Hall of Fame courtesy of Craft Supplies USA.

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  • Title: Puzzle Ball Turning Tools
  • Physical Dimensions: Top: 11 ½ x 1 5/16 in., Bottom: 11 ¾ x 1 7/16 in.
  • Provenance: Courtesy of Craft Supplies USA
  • Type: Turning tools
  • Rights: ©World Chess Hall of Fame, Photo: Michael DeFilippo
  • Medium: Wood and metal