Custom designed frame for mahjong set

I make special frames, boxes or structures for artists where there is no off-the-shelf solutions available to meet their requirements.

This Mahjong set was brought to Scotland as a gift in about 1927 by my Grandfather's brother who lived in Hong Kong.

The set came in a Mahogany box with a sliding front lid and 5 draws that held the 144 tiles and the small bones used as counters. The tiles are bone dovetailed on to bamboo backs.

When I was very young I played with it a few times in my Grandfather's house using the tiles as building blocks. Later, as a teenager when the set had been passed on to me, my friends and I spent many Sunday afternoons tried to work out how to play the game from the small instruction book that came with the set but always got to the same page before realizing we were totally lost.

A couple of years later I found a book on how to play the game in a big toyshop in Manchester. Our Sunday afternoon attempts restarted with some success.

Apart from when I played with the tiles as a child and the Sunday afternoons tying to play the game the tiles lay for three quarters of a century unseen in their Mahogany box.

Once I started woodworking I decided it was time for these beautiful pieces to be displayed as art so I made this frame.

The challenge was to build a frame to display the beauty of this very old bone and bamboo mahjong set which had been stored away in a box for about 75 years. The set came with 4 brass "winds" that were incorporated into the edges of the frames. The box is lined with felt with felt-covered spacers to keep the pieces firmly in place and the back is screwed on for additional strength.

Size: 12.5in x 18.5in x 1.5in

Birds Eye Maple frame with inlays of Walnut and Padauk.