Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game: A Collector's Guide to Mah Jongg Tiles and Sets

by Ann Israel

Other authorsMichel Arnaud (Photographer), Milton Stern (Contributor)
Hardcover, 2014



Call number

795.34 ISR


Tuttle Publishing (2014), Edition: 2nd ed., 192 pages


"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Whether used as a reference or a beautiful keepsake, it's a very worthy addition to the world of Mah Jongg." --Ruth Unger, President,National Mah Jongg League This is the first book to fully capture the story of the exotic and exciting game of Mahjong or "Mah Jongg," offering an intimate look at the history of the game as well as the visual beauty of the tiles. When authors Ann Israel and Gregg Swain began playing Mahjong, they were unaware of the vintage collections that existed not only in the United States but also across the globe. Slowly, they started to collect their own sets of Mahjong and as their collections grew, so did their appreciation of the history of, and interest in, the game. Finding few references, Israel and Swain set out to create a book that chronicles the early beginnings of the game and documents Mahjong sets from the most basic, made of paper, to the most precious materials such as ivory and mother-of-pearl. Recognized and respected scholars and game experts have collaborated with Israel and Swain, contributing essential chapters on the game's history and its pieces as well as technical information on the tiles. Lastly, prominent collectors from around theglobe have shared their incredible sets and memories for the first time in one book for everyone to enjoy. With hundreds of beautiful new images by renowned photographer Michel Arnaud, and including historical documentation and ephemera,Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game fills the void between the past's and today's game, providing vision, inspiration and resources. Anyone who has ever been intrigued by a Mahjong tile will find in these pages visually stunning photographs that will entice them into becoming an enthusiast of the timeless game of Mahjong.… (more)




User reviews

LibraryThing member DDonovan
Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game features color photos throughout by Michel Arnaud and provides an unusual collector's guide to mah jongg tiles and sets (something very different from the usual player's guide), pairing a history and collector's focus with insights on vintage sets from around the
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There are very few such references on the subject and this is perhaps the only book to thoroughly document the origins of the game, its evolution, and the wide diversity of playing tiles that have evolved throughout history.

Add hundreds of color photos of these sets and extensive historical background and you have a celebration that will attract players and collectors alike. While players might initially be disappointed that this doesn't cover game strategy, they should quickly come to appreciate the book's wider focus and intriguing insights, which are all but impossible to find elsewhere.
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