One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box

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Lot 1106W
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box

US$ 90,000 - 120,000
£ 63,000 - 84,000
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
By Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio
Mahjong is seen as a reflection of our daily existence. The game is a mirror of a person's true character: once players sit down at the Mahjong table, their personalities become more apparent by the way they play. Chinese describe this as paai bun, or the ethics of Mahjong.

This ruby set is probably the most luxurious Mahjong ever created. It was manufactured entirely by hand and took a period of more than 8 months to complete. The materials composing this art object were carefully chosen having as their main component solid blocks of Tanzanian ruby--a gemstone representing the expression of the fiery energy of the sun, nobility and royalty. Ruby is said to bring prosperity and protection, as well as keep one healthy and beautiful.

From a technical point of view, ruby is the second hardest gemstone known to man after diamond, hence, carving it represents a challenging endeavor in which only the gifted and strong of body and mind achieve success.

The set consists of 144 extra-large tiles: 36 in the Bamboo suit, 36 in the Circle suit (or tongzi), 36 in the Character suit (or wan), 16 Wind tiles, 12 Dragon tiles and 8 bonus tiles (4 Flowers and 4 Seasons), 98 coins and two die.

The metal work protecting the ruby tiles was engraved and hand hammered in gold vermeil, the symbolic color of the five legendary emperors of ancient China and signifying neutrality and good luck. Adorning each tile on the face and reverse side, the artist used more than 1000 rubies and 300 diamonds all of which provide an added feel of luxury.

One of the myths about the origins of Mahjong suggests that Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, developed the game in about 500 BC. The three dragon (cardinal) tiles also agree with the three cardinal virtues bequeathed by Confucius. Hóng Zhōng , Fā Cái and Bái Bǎn represent benevolence, sincerity, and filial piety, respectively. The myth also claims that Confucius was fond of birds, which would explain the name mah-jong meaning "sparrow". This legend was the inspiration for the design of the reverse side of each tile: the artist carved a pair of black obsidian sparrows sitting on a branch and adorned them with diamonds and rubies.

Counters to play are represented by coins carved of black or white mother-of-pearl with gold vermeil borders. The dice were carved in ruby: one with large faceted Burma rubies to show the numbers and the other with pavé-set diamonds.

Dimensions: 35 x 18 1/4 x 7in. Individual tile dimension: 43 x 35 x 26mm

Footnotes

  • Offered in a custom made presentation box of mahogany wood with ebony veneer.

    To watch a brief video of the artist creating this mahjong set, please follow this link:
    http://vimeo.com/109857962

Contacts
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
One-of-a-Kind Ruby and Black Obsidian Mahjong Set in Custom Presentation Box
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