Saturday 3 December 2011

Drunken Dancing Fraulein

Drunken Dancing Fraulein
Last week I posted a review of Brian Young's Gold coast parking meter. I bought it from an anonymous seller via Allard and was very restrained!! There was a huge list of positively droolworthy puzzles and I only ordered the two! I suspect it was thoughts of the giant credit card bills I had been having from the purchase of a new kitchen.

This one was designed and made by Stephen Chin and presented at the Berlin IPP (#31) this year. It has already been reviewed by Brian and Jeff on their respective sites. Both bloggers really liked the rather unique mechanism. After reading their reviews, I knew I had to have one when the opportunity arose. They were made from a variety of different woods and I liked the look of this light coloured one. It has obviously been turned from a solid block and looks like it should be quite heavy, however, when you pick it up it is very light and is obviously hollow. There are 3 rings around it and a stand too, all in the same lovely wood and very beautifully made.

This is a multifunction device (No, not print scan fax!) - it has a whistle, it is a spinning top and also is a puzzlebox! Within the puzzle there is a diamond to be found! It rattles too!

When I first took it out of the box, I thought that it had been damaged in transport - there appeared to be a wedge broken off from the tip and a hole in the top. I had a scout around the box and could find no pieces and then surfed the net for images before realising that this is what makes it whistle! Doh!!! I have very little experience of puzzle boxes (due to their high price) so really had no idea where to start. Only one piece moves so I played with that for a while to no avail. Then I tried changing the angle of holding it whilst playing with the moving piece - also to no avail.

Stumped at this point, I put it down and had a cuppa. Nothing sprung to mind so I had a very close look at it and found something unexpected. You really need to examine it in minute detail to see the give-away feature. From here it is only a matter of a few minutes to have the puzzle open and the diamond revealed. The rattling comes from a minute version of the puzzle within the box! I have a photo of it open which I am not posting because it may give away a little too much information. If you can find it on my picasa page then that is up to you.

The mechanism is very ingenious and relies on physics! It is possible for the mechanism to jam and mine now seems to have done so - I haven't been able to open it for 6 weeks now!! Many people who have seen my collection have commented on how beautiful it is.

If you see one available - get it for your collection for it's unique mechanism and the sheer beauty of the turned wood.

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