Tag Archives: french ivory majong



We often see ladies on Flower tiles. The ladies in the top row are performing a Chinese long sleeve dance. They are goddesses, as seen by the round stylized clouds at their feet. The Chinese have a long tradition of long sleeve dance. Here are a couple of paragraphs from Wikipedia:

"Qin-Han period

Historical texts mentioned many dances in this period, for example a sword dance is mentioned in a story where the dance was performed during an attempt to assassinate Liu Bang (who later founded the Han Dynasty) at the Hongmen Banquet.[18] The event at the banquet was also said to form the basis of the "Gong Mo" Dance (公莫舞) - "Gong Mo" literally means "Sir, Don't!" and describes the blocking action by Xiang Bo during the sword dance to prevent the assassination.[19] "Gong Mo" Dance was later known as Scarf Dance (巾舞), where a long scarf is held in both hands similar to today's Long Silk Dance. Liu Bang was also said to be fond the war dance of the Ba people called Bayu dance (巴渝, given various names such as Zhaowu, 昭武 in later dynasty), and large scale performances of the dance involved the brandishing of various weapons to the accompaniment of drums and songs in the Ba language.[20]

During the Qin and Han period, the imperial court established the yuefu (literally, Music Bureau), which was responsible for collecting folk music and dances for performances at the court. A popular dance of the Han Dynasty was the Long Sleeve Dance and there are many images and sculptures of the period depicting dances with long sleeves. This is a dance tradition that dates back to the earlier period and one still performed today.[21] The sleeve may be long and narrow, or long and wide, or similar to the "water sleeves" (水袖, long flowing detachable silk sleeves extended at the wrist) used in today's Chinese opera. Historical texts also recorded dances where the dancers danced bending at the waist while moving their sleeves. Other dances included the Drum Dance (鞞舞), Bell Dance (鐸舞), Sabre Dance, and mixed couple dance.[22]"

For more information about Chinese dance, click here

And to see a quick video, click here

The goddesses on the bottom row are playing musical instruments, perhaps playing the music the long sleeve goddesses are dancing to! We can see the



perhaps a pipa

and ruan


The Winds are what we normally see, as are the Dragons below.





This particularly beautiful hand carved French Ivory Mahjong set actually greatly resembles a lot of high-end bone and bamboo Mahjong tiles.

The One Bam bird is delightful, perched on a branch.

DSC_0659 bird

Notice how many  strokes are used to create this bird, giving it a great deal of detail. The cross hatching gives it more visual interest.

The other Bams are the rounded variety. The Craks are the elaborate Wan.

DSC_0659 dot

The One Dot has a central plum blossom surrounded by meanders, the abstract pattern used to fill what could have been unadorned space.  The other Dots have a six-petaled flower within an outside circle.

The backs of these tiles are black. French Ivory is made by alternating two slightly different colors of plastic, and slicing through this block to make tiles with the lines reminiscent of real ivory.

The Flowers will be posted tomorrow.