Hanayama Difficulty Level 4 – Hard
Let the ring fall apart and then try to assemble it again.
It might be a bit big for your finger but it makes a great serviette holder for your next puzzle dinner party. Just right for when you serve Tangram Toast, Soma Stew or a Rubiks Roast!
The puzzle is based on the classic puzzle ring we all know.
Legend has it that it was popularised in 15th century Europe and used as a regular engagement or wedding ring at that time. It’s said that Christian reformer Martin L. Luther even wore one. It was reasoned that there could be proof of it’s wearer’s adultery if the ring was removed and fell apart and the wearer could not put it back together again.
So do we know this as truth? Well…. not exactly. James Dalgety from the Puzzle Museum in the UK ponders the question about why no examples of puzzle rings that are much over 100 years old have ever been found.
A commercially produced example called “La Bague Mephisto” (or “Devil’s Ring” in English) by French maker Watilliaux is the oldest example known. It is also known that on 9th August 1887, about the time Watillaux sold their ring, a W.H.A.Davidson was granted US Patent 367,896 for this design of puzzle ring as well. Maybe he was truly the inventor, but at the time many patents were granted for old designs.
In the 1940s Jose Grant first saw one of these rings that had been bought in Cairo from a Belorussian silversmith. By the 1960s they were usually called “Turkish Puzzle Rings” and certainly many were made there before Asia became the source of most cheap productions. The earliest instruction booklet we have is from Turkey and appears to be from the 1950s.
And so the mystery remains.
Thanks to James Dalgety for his untiring research into mechanical puzzles. His online Puzzle Museum is an amazing resource.
Size: Presented in a view window box which is 75mm x 115mm x 45mm The inside diameter of the puzzle ring is 40mm x 45mm
Hanayama puzzles come packaged with a printed solution. Not offered as standard by other sellers.