Gallery 5. British.

Mahjong Manufacturers: – Others

Abbey[AB]:- As far as I know, this firm re-badged other sets, but didn’t make any; I’ve only seen 2 different sets.

Four Winds:- Not much is know about this firm which traded under the name Mah-Jongg Co. Ltd., and had its premises at Vale Works, 18 Blackheath Vale, London SE3. They adopted 2 logos; one of 4 Wind tiles in a cross, surrounded by FOUR WINDS MAH JONGG; the other of a stylised pair of sinograms. To my knowledge, they made at least 4 kinds of sets; cream Casein, translucent greenish Casein, green marbled Casein and impressed wood. The boxes are cardboard flip-top, wooden slide-top, leather 2-door, or traditional lift-front 5 tray. The tiles are always the same unique style, but sometimes with a curved back.

Gray & Co:– As far as I know, they re-badged MJSA playing card sets only.

Hamleys:- The famous toy firm only re-badged sets or imported them from China with a distinctive sinogram logo on their boxes.

Harrods:- The well-known department store imported sets from China and housed them in their distinctive boxes with the signature finger hole in the front panel.

HW Cave:- I presume they were an agent for Hamley’s in Ceylon, as the logo is the same as Hamley’s.

Hickson:- These unique sets are quite rare; the Dragon logo only appears on the card boxes with MAH JONG in stylised typeface. The booklet which accompanies most sets is by Bertram Hickson and belongs to the sets, as the unique tile set is illustrated in the booklet, hence my calling them Hickson. They come in either a flip-top cream cardboard box with 5 trays, or a wooden lift-front cabinet with 5 trays.

The tiles are ceramic stoneware, glazed on 5 sides with the designs underglazed; they often show some crazing due to the effects of temperature in storage. I have had 5 of these sets and only know of two more.

Pung Wo:- I’m including this in the British section, as their sales blurb proclaims that they have a British-run factory, the largest in China – it is actually the Mei-Ren company. They made sets in Bamboo and Bone & Bamboo – they also made sets for the Mah Jongg Sales Co. of America.

Selfridge:- I have 2 of these sets, I’ve never seen another style by them; the designs are very specific, so I guess they commissioned the sets from a supplier to their specification.

EVB Plastics:- Makers of Beeju plastic toys from 1946; to my knowledge they only produced one style of set.

Yamanaka:- I have 2 of these very cheaply-made sets, I guess they were complimentary gifts from the famous (well it was in the 1920s!) art & antique store. Its London branch opened in 1900, gaining a royal warrant in 1919 and closed in 1940, probably due to Japan’s alliance with the German axis forces during WWII.