Where & When was the 4-Band Ring invented?
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 ring. Maybe he was truly the inventor, but at the time many patents were granted for old designs.
A simple solution was included in The Strand Magazine in 1895 where it was called "The Oriental Ring" and said to be familiar to anyone who had travelled as far as India.
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.
Due to the pattern of the weave of the four bands there is some speculation that the design may have its origins with the Anatolian Celts and have been transmitted via Galatia to modern Turkey. It remains a mystery.
At the Puzzle Museum we hope that some observant historian will give us a definitive answer so that we can update this page.
This enquiry is only about the 4-Band Linked Ring and its related 6 and 8 band variants. We have far older examples of Twist or Chain Rings, Fede Rings, 3-Band Medieval puzzle rings, etcetera.
- - + - -