small brass box with tiles

The brass box with 5 drawers, tiles and wood racks
The brass box with 5 drawers, tiles and wood racks. Often a drawer would be used for counting/betting sticks, dice and mings which indicate wind direction.


This delightful brass box holds an equally lovely set of Mahjong tiles. The panel which forms the front of the box has a man in a boat, similar to those often seen on some Chinese Bakelite Flower tiles. The wood racks were early versions and were only used to keep a player's Mahjong tiles secret; when a tile was called, that grouping would be placed on the tabletop.

Small brass box with fine carving
Small brass box with fine etching and tile and quarter used for scale

Note the lovely flowers seen on the back of this box. As in many very expensive sets, this box was designed to have all its sides seen. The box handles are very heavy, giving an important look to the box.

Unusual Flower tiles and soaring swallow One Bam
Unusual Flower tiles and Soaring Swallow One Bam

The Flower tiles on this set feature modes of transportation and types of buildings. The unusual One Dots have linear interiors, and the others are circles within circles. The Bams are of the simple rod type. One of the Flowers features a man in a boat, similar to the one seen on the front panel of the box. The tiles are in exceptional condition, with few of the streaks often seen in the bone and bamboo sets. The counting sticks are smooth, unlike the more ragged appearance of those in less expensive sets.