Two Rare German ‘Wunderkammer’ Turned Puzzle Balls

Two Rare German ‘Wunderkammer’ Turned Puzzle Balls

A.    A Turned Boxwood Puzzle with Twelve Apertures Containing a Moveable Spiked Twelve Pointed Star Turned from the Same Piece of Boxwood
    Small chip to end of one spike
    17th Century
    Size: b. 5.5cm dia. - 2¼ dia.

B.    A Rare Turned Ivory Smooth Hollow Sphere with Four Apertures the Puzzle Ball Containing Two Loose Gaming Pieces and Two Moveable Dice Inside Two Turned Rhombic Dodecahedron
    17th Century
    Size: a. 5.5cm dia - 2¼ ins dia.
In the circa 1596 inventory of the collection of Ambras Castle in Innsbruck, famous as an early cabinet of curiosities, turned spheres such as these are listed as ‘works of art’. Regarded as wonders of virtuoso turning, the art of making such objects formed an integral part of the education of noble European princes from the 16th to the 18th century. In 1605 Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, summarised the pride felt in creating art from nature by engraving on an ivory vessel he produced: ‘Ebur Ars Nobilitat, Artem Auctor Maximilianus Dux Bavaria’, ‘Art ennobles ivory, the creator (of this vessel) Maximilian Duke of Bavaria on the other hand, ennobles art’.
 
In the circa 1596 inventory of the collection of Ambras Castle in Innsbruck, famous as an early cabinet of curiosities, turned spheres such as these are listed as ‘works of art’. Regarded as wonders of virtuoso turning, the art of making such objects formed an integral part of the education of noble European princes from the 16th to the 18th century. In 1605 Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, summarised the pride felt in creating art from nature by engraving on an ivory vessel he produced: ‘Ebur Ars Nobilitat, Artem Auctor Maximilianus Dux Bavaria’, ‘Art ennobles ivory, the creator (of this vessel) Maximilian Duke of Bavaria on the other hand, ennobles art’.
 

Two Rare German ‘Wunderkammer’ Turned Puzzle Balls

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk