Antique Gambling Chips & Gambling Memorabilia Web Site
MY BEST MOTHER OF PEARL SET
To view the set, click the links
below (note: the best pictures are the last three) :
(1) closed box.
(2) open box.
(3) close-ups of the chips (MOP and plastics).
(4) plastics, etc. in box.
(5) plastic chips alone.
I bought this set March 1999. It appears that just one chip is missing. Chips are mint.
The original fitted, wood box is 14” x 10.5” x 2.5”. Latch works well............... Has working lock and key................... The inside has a nice lining, maybe calf skin. The inside lid has inscribed the name of the famous French gambling supply house, “Briotet Carro Succr Paris” (Briotet is the successor of the equally famous Caro Co.)......... The outside is leather-lined; very scratched and all worn off on the lid. But the inside of the box and the chips look mint! (For a clue as to the origins of this set, see the comments about the MW set at the bottom of this page.)
The original set must have had 240 chips. I have just 239 chips. All the chips have the same monogram (“RF”) on one side. The other side has the denomination............The set is interesting and unusual in at least two ways: (1) the chips for the 100’s, 500’s and 1000’s have the denomination spelled out (see photos) instead of the usual Arabic numerals. In “Antique Gambling Chips” I can not find any MOP’s with this interesting feature; and (2) the 25’s, 50’s and 100’s are PLASTIC (a nice, thick, well-made plastic; not hot-stamped; I’m not sure how they were imprinted, but I can see that the impressions were filled with “paint”) while the 500’s and 1000’s are MOTHER-OF-PEARL. Neither material is unusual for chips, but I never saw a set that combined both materials -- plastic for the lower denominations and pearl for the higher ones. (Thinking about it, it makes sense to me. The low denominations would be handled/bet a lot and tossed about. Plastic would be a safe material -- unlikely to nick or break. The 500 and 1000 bets would be made more leisurely and carefully and made less often. (Pearl always seemed like a poor material choice to me. I once damaged the edge of a pearl chip just by putting one into a felt bag that had other pearl chips. One just slid into another, and...............)
The chips are (all in mint condition):
“25” -- purple -- plastic -- 1-9/16” diameter -- 60 chips.
“50” -- aqua-green -- plastic -- 1-9/16” -- 60 chips.
“100” -- red -- plastic -- 3” x 1-9/16” -- 60 chips.
“500” -- natural with blue fill -- pearl -- 2-13/16” x 1-5/8” -- 30 chips.
“1000” -- natural with blue fill -- pearl -- 3-1/4” x 1-15/16” -- 29 chips.
I’ll keep the set, not sell any.
Cost me $2300. Interesting how I got them. It was at a two day show with a lot of collectors and dealers. The dealers must have missed these. Anyway, I went to the show the first day, saw the item. The dealer wanted $2500. (Originally he had a $2850 price tag on them; I didn't know that at the time.) I was tempted. I should have used my own judgment, but I phoned a fellow collector, and he said what I was thinking -- that there were only so many people who would buy individual sets (i.e., a set of 5 different pieces) and that I would be "stuck" with a lot of unsold sets. So I did not buy them that day. I left the show quite late.
I drove home to Brooklyn (about 3 hours each way), and began to think I was foolish not taking them, that I don't find much now-a-days, and particularly that in Seymour's book there were no pearls like these with the denomination written out in script, especially five hundred and one thousand.
So the next day I returned, and the dealer lowered the price to $2300!, and I bought them. I intend to keep the set intact, not sell individual pieces.
Here is a similar set by the same company that I
bought in July 2014. (Click here
to see a large picture of the set.)
The seller emailed me that ""I do know is
that my great grandfather that I never met had the initials MW. My
dad and grandfather were both initialed RMW, great grandfather was Martin
Waters. This is info I am getting from mom."
Here is another similar set (same case, Caro, number
and design of chips, etc.) that a friend of mine owns. He says, "My
set has MW intertwined on the chips and the same MW hot stamped on the top
of the case. It is the same case and chip numbers as yours. My set came from
a successful business man who lived in NY, his name was Max Weinstein. ....
Your FR set [the one at the top of this page] could be from his business
partner Frank Russek of the same name department store, Russeks NY." (Click
to see large pictures of the set.)
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