I’m so proud of all my Mah Jongg students and love it when they send me photos of their successful hands. Peggy, who really was a quick study from the beginning, sent me a photo of her wonderful winning WINDS/DRAGONS hand of FFFF N EE WWW SSSS and called it her “Happy Hand!” It made me happy, too, to see my students attempt – and succeed at – the more difficult closed hands. Great job, Peggy!
S1 has a friend with an interesting Pe-Ling set. It says on the box, “Senior Set”…I wonder what that means? Could it be that this was made for people of a certain age…
I did a little research on Pe-Ling and, although it looks just like an inexpensive Mah Jongg set, apparently Pe-Ling tried to advertise itself as something different from the game we know and love. What I really think is that Pe-Ling was just another name for the mysterious and exotic game of Mah Jongg, similar to all those other names such as Man Chu, Mah Diao, Ma Chong, Pung Chow, Ching Chong, Kong Chow, Mah Deuck, Mah Cheuk, Ma Chiang, Mah Lowe, Game of Four Winds, The Ancient Game of the Mandarins, and Ma Jiang, just to name a few!
Perhaps some of you out there can enlighten us further on Pe-Ling. Here is what I was able to learn:
The manufacturer might have tried to convince people that the game rules were unique but I don’t believe that is the case. This was one of those sets that were manufactured for the American market around the mid-1920s and, as I wrote above, was probably a very inexpensive set. Fun to see but not worth much especially now with the box in horrible shape and the tiles looking filthy (although that shouldn’t take away from its value – they can always be cleaned) and not of any exotic or beautiful material. However, there is no question that the suits and other tiles are definitely of interesting designs.
That is not the One Bam shown here with the Bam suit – the Green Dragon is in its place in these photos. It appears that the One Bam is mixed in with the Flowers although, unfortunately, it is very hard to see those tiles in the photos that were sent to S1; you can get a glimpse of the One Bam in the third picture below.
It does seem that all the tiles are there…there are 144 tiles, including all the suits we would normally find – Bams, Dots, and Craks plus Winds, Dragons, and Flowers plus counting sticks and other accessories. Its makeup certainly looks like a typical Mah Jongg set to me! And, even though this set is not exactly in pristine condition, I find it very interesting that the included Pe-Ling booklet looks to be very well preserved.
And, most important of all to me…what does “Senior Set” mean?!!!
In between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur there is still time for Mah Jongg…and yesterday was my turn to host the OMs at our Wednesday game. We started out with a summery lunch – even though it is now October – since the weather has been warm and sticky. First we had Chilled Cucumber Soup with Shrimp followed by Pic’s Fresh Crab Salad with Lime Juice and three yummy cheeses – D’Affinois, Piave, and Humboldt Fog (as always, recipes will follow tomorrow – all are easy and delicious and from recipes by Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa).
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!”
Yesterday I hosted our game and it seems that it had been such a long time since everyone was chez moi. We started out the day by opening a lovely hostess gift of a bottle of wine from G so I knew right away that this would be a great day! Lunch was yummy especially since heirloom tomatoes are so delicious right now. We had an heirloom tomato tart along with a salad of arugula, watermelon, and parmesan. This tart was not only delicious but also really beautiful.
Read on for more about our lunch and for some of the hands we played. As always, the recipes will be published tomorrow. Continue reading
Today was Mah Jongg Wednesday for the OMs but three of the OMs are out of town. So, that left S1, K, and moi. We decided to do things a bit differently today. The three of us went to a really fun summer luncheon at our club and then decided to stay there and play Mah Jongg in one of the club rooms. We invited G to join us and she fit right in! We all had really good luck today and we each had multiple winning hands although we had just as many wall games as we had winning hands.
K always asks the question: Do wall games mean we aren’t very good or do they mean that we are all really good?
I think a wall game means we are all at the same level of game play and are playing very defensively. Let me know your thoughts on this.
The day started out with G miscalling a Mah Jongg. This has happened to all of us at some time in our game history. She was dead but there were still Jokers that could be exchanged.