Featured OLD MAH JONG SET - HOW OLD? ARE DEEP ORANGE/SQUASH COLORED TILES ARE BAKELITE?

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by journeymagazine, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. journeymagazine

    journeymagazine Well-Known Member

    I found this at a estate sale last week end & bought it for $50. It had "Dark Orange tiles" written on a note taped to the top.
    The tiles were wrapped in saran wrap to protect them - it looked like someone was trying to protect a old set of bakelite tiles.
    Bur when I opened the wrapping on the tiles they didn't feel like plastic - which is what bakelite feels like, right? Is there a way to tell what they are made of?
    Any idea how old the set is?
    Thank you for any info!

    COLLECTIBLE MAH JONG SET COWAN 2AAVVVVV.JPG COLLECTIBLE MAH JONG SET COWAN 2AAZZZ.JPG COLLECTIBLE MAH JONG SET COWAN 3AAVVV.JPG COLLECTIBLE MAH JONG SET COWAN 3AAAVVV.JPG COLLECTIBLE MAH JONG SET COWAN 4AAVVV.JPG COLLECTIBLE MAH JONG SET COWAN 5AAVVV.JPG COLLECTIBLE MAH JONG SET COWAN 1AAzz.jpg
     
  2. rink28

    rink28 Well-Known Member

  3. aaroncab

    aaroncab in veritate victoria

    Some people use simichrome polish to test( A quick Google search will show you how), I've always just taken the piece of suspected Bakelite and rubbed it against my arm or leg quickly, until it got hot... once it is hot, if it is Bakelite it will smell of formaldehyde for a moment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  4. Rayo56

    Rayo56 Well-Known Member

    If bakelite: There should be no seams on the pieces and when heated up (with some hot water) a chemical smell should be noted - kinda like a paint thinner smell. That's all I got, hope it helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    KikoBlueEyes, i need help and judy like this.
  5. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    that looks like my moms old set...............sigh...
     
  6. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

  7. journeymagazine

    journeymagazine Well-Known Member

    I'll try to see if it smells - it almost felt like wood & I was going to heat a pin and stick it in but wasn't sure if that was to test bakelite I was remembering!
     
  8. wiscbirddog

    wiscbirddog Well-Known Member

    Rule of thumb: DON'T poke anything with a hot pin!
     
  9. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    time frame 1934 -1963
    A search for MS Cowen SF shows they were incorporated in 1934. There's no zip code, so before 1963.

    M. S. Cowen Co. is a California Domestic Corporation filed on December 13, 1934. The company's filing status is listed as Suspended and its File Number is C0160771. The company's mailing address is 201 Sansome St., Ste. 203, San Francisco, CA 94104.
     
    2manybooks likes this.
  10. journeymagazine

    journeymagazine Well-Known Member

    Anyone heard of a mah jong set with yellow wood tiles?
     
  11. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    those would not CLACK the same when played.......:wacky::wacky::woot:
     
  12. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    The color, usually called butterscotch, is typical for age-darkened ivory-color bakelite (actually catalin), the patent for the racks was issued to Stanley Cowen in 1925, catalin should date no earlier than the late '20s - personally, would guess your set is probably 1930s-'40s. Just as a note, the lack of a zip code on a label wouldn't really indicate production before 1963, though the presence of one would indicate production no earlier than 1963...

    ~Cheryl
     
    anundverkaufen and Bakersgma like this.
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