Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 986


Result : Not available
Estimate : Subscribers only


China, c. 1880. The puzzle ball carved to the exterior with numerous figures between flowers and plants, enclosing at least nine intricately balls with pierced star and diaper motifs, with detachable finger citrus handle underneath and surmounted by a detachable figural finial suspending a chain with fish pendant.


Good condition with traces of wear and small natural age cracks. With minor nicks to exposed areas as well as a small repair to the joint of the handle underneath.


Ex-Collection of The Zelnik István Southeast Asian Gold Museum. Institutional art collection in Belgium, acquired from the above.

Weight: 316.2 cm

Dimensions: Length 27 cm (excluding the chain and pendant)

Auction result comparison:

Compare two closely related puzzle balls of similar size at Christie’s in The Decorative Arts Sale on 21-22 September 2010, lot 194,

sold for EUR 5,250

, and at Bonhams in Asian Art on 7 November 2016, lot 40,

sold for EUR 7,352


This item contains or is made from elephant ivory and is subject to CITES when exporting outside the EU. It is typically not possible to export such items outside of the EU, including to the UK. Please note that in compliance with EU regulation effective January 19th, 2022, all items carved from elephant ivory before 1947 must carry a legal trade permit issued by the Austrian ministry of trade, or any other appropriate authority within the European Union. For this reason, any sale of such item can only be concluded after such permit has been granted. All payments made prior to the issuance of the respective permit will be held in escrow until the application for the permit has been approved. Please note that according to EU regulation it may take up to 3 months until the permit has been granted. In case the permit is declined, or not granted after 3 months, the payment will be returned to the client immediately.

Auction's title
Auction's date
Auction location