CHINA, mother of pearl game counters.
    These first appeared in the coin market perhaps 1980 or so.  No one had any idea what they were, or when they were made.  If my memory serves the first specimens on the modern market came from Hong Kong.  (Scott Semans probably knows for sure.)  There are no references to these in the standard numismatic texts.  Over the years it began to seem most reasonable that they were used as game counters and never circulated as tokens.  Most lately Bob Boddy sent me an article by Derek Cowan describing in some detail a late 18th century contract business to make these in China to sell to upper class English gentlemen for use in their evening card games.  The article illustrates a number of them with initials and monograms.

    Most of these pictures are of more than one piece.  Many of my specimens have small "imperfections" inherent in the material they are made of.
MOP3) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 33.5mm round, pair of lovebirds / chalice, AU $24.00 sold
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MOP4) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 31mm round, pair of lovebirds / ninefold stars in square, AU $21.00 sold
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MOP12) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 31mm round, pair of lovebirds kissing / stars in diamond lattice, AU $21.00 sold
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MOP5) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 24mm round, crenellated edge, pair of lovebirds / flower, AU $19.00 sold
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MOP6) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 25mm round, flower / flower, AU $19.00 sold
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MOP7) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 46x16mm spindle shaped, pagoda / diamond matrix, AU $34.00
21 pieces available
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MOP8) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 44x12mm rectangular, flower / flower, AU $21.00 sold
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MOP9) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 47x14mm fish shape, lovebirds in medallion on one side, AU $34.00
10 pieces available
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MOP10) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 36x23mm oval, pagoda, diamond lattice, AU $18.00 sold
Click picture for enlargement.
8 pieces available
 
 
 

MOP11) CHINA, late 18th c., mother of pearl game counter, made for export to England, 27mm round, pagoda / diamond lattice, AU $25.00
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MOPW1) wholesale mother of pearl counters, mixed, 10 pcs $250.00

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