Tag Archives: swooping crane

STILL A MYSTERY BUT A BIT OF INFORMATION…

From our dear friend, Tony:

I have the same set from France, which I snapped up as a Buy It Now at a very reasonable price, as I’d never seen one like it before.
Like Mark, I’m not sure if this was produced before the Pung Chow factory was set up, or after it folded; either is possible… The box measures 290x155x90mm, made from finger-jointed wood stained red, with a slide top, a separator for the celluloid counting sticks cut-out to assist removal of the 4 trays solidly made from the same stained wood.
The gorgeous tiles measure 30x22x10mm with 45/55 white/red Pyralin (celluloid), sharp corner on top and rounded on the red – there is some colour variation on the red.
The designs are fairly standard; simple Circles, complex wan Craks, separated rod Bamboos, swooping crane Bambird.
There are a few tiles missing; 1-7 Cracks + 2 Craks; 1 Bamboo; 1 Red + 1 Green Dragon; no Flowers. I’m not sure if the flowers were deliberately omitted, emulating a Chinese set, or if they got lost.. but my friend Johni sent me pics of the Flowers if I ever try to re-create them..

Tony – thank you so much for chiming in…I KNEW you would have information on this gorgeous set!

PUNG CHOW CRAZY!

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Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am over the moon for Pung Chow Mah Jongg sets. ┬áPung Chow was a company based in Worcester, Massachusetts (with another factory in New York) and only in existence for 3 years from 1922 – 1925 before declaring bankruptcy. But in those three short years they manufactured some very unusual and very beautiful Mah Jongg sets. Although they made sets out of wood, I am crazy about the two-toned pyralin tiles with their ivory colored fronts and shiny black backs. And the Flowers are just too fabulous – the little men, sometimes just outlined in black but every once in a while beautifully colored. Here are three identical sets in sweet black boxes with four small drawers holding the counters and other accessories and then one large drawer holding the tiles.

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These three sets have the black outlined Flowers. But of course, the trademarked Silver Dragon can be found in any and all Pung Chow sets. And the shiny black backs are part of the Pung Chow two-toned look.

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The Dots are beautiful and the One Bam is the swooping crane that I have discussed previously – with just a hint of a smile on its face. The pyralin substance really does simulate the color of ivory and it maintains its color over time.

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