Back in March I posted pictures of a Mah Jongg set I had purchased and asked for some help on trying to figure out what the heck it was! I also asked if anyone had some tiles in their orphanage to replace the missing tiles from this unusual set. Well, all good things certainly do come to those who wait. Dear Tony Watson, Mah Jongg authority and historian extraordinaire, has sent the following explanation. The original post follows Tony’s explanation. Now all I have to do is wait some more and perhaps someone will be able to help me fill in my missing tiles! Much thanks and lots of hugs to Tony!
Sorry this is so late, somehow I missed this blog update…
Zooming in on the pics, it looks like the tiles are made of hardwood with either a slip of printed acetate melted onto the top (either by heat or solvent), or more likely, given the crazing, a thick layer of paint with a transfer applied and sealed with a coat of shellac.
Very similar construction is used in Richter’s ‘stone’ tiles.
Anyway, I’ve not seen these tiles before, but they have shades of the French and Austrian sets that we have seen recently, especially the Lizard set.
A few months ago I purchased this unusual set and am still at a loss at trying to identify it. Perhaps someone out there reading this blog will be able to help…It seems to be very similar in composition to the Portland Billiard Ball Company set that was featured on this blog last month. The tiles are blocks of what I suspect is bamboo with thin pieces of colorful plastic/celluloid glued or somehow affixed to the wood.
The Bams and the Dots are easily identifiable – although I suspect I may have displayed the Bams upside down!
But it is the Craks that has thrown me way off…Here are two rows of the Craks (1 – 9) and, as you will see, the symbols in the first row are quite different from the symbols in the second row.
Take a closer look at this row of Two Craks:
Each Two Crak is unique. Have you seen this before?
The Flowers are quite beautiful:
And the depiction of the Winds is lovely (although possibly upside down again!). Unfortunately, the set is missing the four West Winds.
Both the One Bams (missing two) and the Dragons (missing two Red Dragons and one Green Dragon) show different images. BTW, if anyone can supply the missing tiles, please contact me.
So, what do you think? I appeal to you to help explain what this unusual set is all about. I look forward to hearing some opinions from you and I will publish them in an upcoming post which happily will be called, “Mystery Solved!”