This very thick bone and bamboo mahjong set, not intended for export because of the lack of Western letters and Arabic numbers, has a few touches to delight the player and collector. The chirping bird One Bam is one of them.
Notice the bird's mouth open in song, the claws wrapped around the branch, and the detail given to the neck and eyes.
The other Bams are rounded, and the Dots vary from the six petaled flower within flower seen on the One Dot, to the six petaled flower within a circle seen on the others.
As often happens, mahjong tiles were lost over time. The owner of this set, however, was quite industrious; other bone and bamboo mahjong tiles were substituted for missing ones and another was carved. It is believed the other tiles were from another set because only the substituted tiles have pencil written letters and numbers.
The substituted tile.
Carved tile with S for South.
Carved 8 Bam and North.
An attempt to match the bird in song.