Happy New Year to you!
Hello and thanks for visiting ChezBill. My name is Bill Neal, I live near London and I have been collecting and dealing in Chinese gaming counters for over 20 years. I first got into counters as a collector and very soon discovered that I needed to buy counters in groups - and that means that I had more than I needed! My main aim was to develop my collection of armorials which now stands at close to 2,000 different armorials, all from different sets ordered by the Lords and Ladies, the rich and famous ( right up to the Queen of England!). I still find just as much to enjoy from gaming counters as I did all those years ago - perhaps even more. To start with, they are beautiful! They also are a small piece of history, taking us straight back 200 years in many cases to the very people who ordered them via the East India Company. And one of the greatest attractions to me is the fact that after handling many thousands of Chinese gaming counters, I still cannot understand how they managed to produce them so exquisitely with what we would consider primitive equipment and tools. Just think: no electricity at the time! Yet when you handle a counter you are holding a beautiful artefact produced with amazing attention to detail. I still am forced to wonder at the skill of the Chinese workers and their ability to achieve miniature perfection.
I quickly discovered that there is very little reference material available to help the new collector. Derek Cowan produced a photocopied booklet which is very helpful and there is an extended reference in the introduction to Chinese Armorial Porcelain (volume II) by David S. Howard but neither of these is easily available. So I produced and published two booklets on the subject. These booklets are available for sale on this website.
I hope that you enjoy the website. There are articles relating to the history of gaming counters, themes and guides to dating gaming counters - mainly by their borders and shapes. And there are parts of the website where you can see counters available for sale. Worldwide insured postage is included in the prices shown and there is an easy link for payment.
Please note: if you want to order more than one item I may be able to offer a discount: please contact me with the code numbers of the items ( for instance 'GP1' etc) and I will get back to you.
If you are ever in London I have a stall at the monthly antiques fair at the Horticultural Hall, Victoria organised by Adams Antiques Fairs and am always delighted to meet customers there - new and old.
Enjoy the website! Best wishes, Bill