Tag Archives: 1920s


The other day I told you how my dear friend Jeri was out and about scouting Mah Jongg-related things in NYC for this blog. On a recent visit to the Museum of the City of New York she came across an exhibit of Carrie Stettheimer’s famous dollhouse. As the museum notes, “one of the Museum’s most popular artifacts, the dollhouse of Carrie Walter Stettheimer (1869-1944) weaves together the fashion and style of New York’s Gilded Age in miniature form. Stettheimer worked on the 12-room dollhouse for nearly two decades, creating many of the furnishings and decorations by hand.”

So, why am I blogging about a dollhouse…well, among the many rooms is the Library, which features a beautiful Mah Jongg table displaying a miniature Mah Jongg set, citing that the game is “one of the most fashionable games of the 1920s” 

Enjoy this photo and, if you are in NYC, be sure to visit the Museum of the City of New York located at 1220 5th Ave at103rd Street to see this incredible dollhouse for yourself. 


We can’t always trust the sets (or more probably, the seller) we see for sale on eBay but, sometimes we get lucky as in the lovely bone and bamboo set and box that Lee E found there…

Lee sent the following photos with this message: “Hi Ann, Last night my group played with one of the vintage sets I recently purchased on eBay; it’s bone and bamboo from the 1920’s.  I’ve attached a photo of the set, my friend Stacy, and her winning closed hand.” IMG_1259 IMG_1260 IMG_1261

Lee – thanks so much for sending this! And congratulations to Stacy for that wonderful winning hand!


I usually am attracted to Mah Jongg sets from the 1920s and 1930s but there is one set from 1950 that has been of great interest to me. It is a Cardinal Tri-Color 3-Tone set that I have been seeking for quite a while. And now I have it!  This set is in great shape for being almost 65 years old – very clean and looking as if no one ever played Mah Jongg with it.

I just love those green backs!

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Look at this magnificent set, courtesy of the Mah Jong Museum (owned and operated by the website, Where the Winds Blow and founded by the wonderful Jim May), made and carved in China probably in the early 1920s. The tiles are made of bone and then backed with ebony wood. I love this set not only for its beauty and craftsmanship but also because the tiles represent such incredible sentiments and meanings – you can read the translations for the tiles’ ideographs on the museum’s website.


My favorite translation encompasses the entire set, based on the Buddhist tale, “Heaven girls playing with flowers.” I love this set because of the kind, generous, and happy meanings of the tiles but especially for the magnificent and intricate Flowers. Beautiful carvings filled with beautiful thoughts to take with us into the new year.  


Wouldn’t it be a treat to play Mah Jongg with this set? To see other beautiful and rare sets, go to the website for the Mah Jong Museum and have a great time!