This week we have encountered many fascinating and surprising objects. Among the most unusual has been this ivory ball from China, dated to the nineteenth century. The outside of the ball is carefully carved with floral patterns and a scene showing figures in a garden. Inside there are a further four balls – each smaller than the other –  carved with detailed geometric patterns, and capable of moving independently. Incredibly there are no obvious join marks so it seems that the ball has been made from a single piece of ivory rather than separate pieces joined together!