Counters from 1700 to 1720

Thursday 20th August 2015 at 11:26

The aim of this page is to look at the styles of counters which were in existence before European styles took over. It seems clear that there existed some mother-of-pearl counters with a distinct Chinese influence which were later adapted to the requirements of the European traders. They may not have been used by the Chinese themselves for any length of time: the games they were needed for were certainly not Chinese in origin and the Chinese used very different counters for their own games. But this was a time of experimentation: there were no set sizes nor any clear expectation of the type of design used. But there were patterns which emerge. The first part of this page is devoted to counters which were not tailor-made for specific families in Europe.I find them beautiful. The second part of the page gives a selection of counters which were made-to-order and which bear crests or coats of arms of families. What I hope will become apparent, is that these bespoke counters reflect very clearly the other counters in production at the same time and are decorated on the reverse with exactly the same designs.