To Sticker or Not to Sticker!

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To Sticker or Not to Sticker; that is the question!

Some of you may have seen my earlier post called “Thank you Bob Stern” which talked about a vintage set that Bob’s mother, Eleanor, used to play with, that he gave to me to continue the tradition.

Last week we played with it.  And it was grand to play with.  At the suggestion of Johnni L (a gal in California, who owns 400 MahJongg Sets!) we used the 8 Flowers that are Chinese people as Jokers and used the Flowers that actually had a flower on them as the Flowers.  It was delightful to play with the set, but I must admit it was tedious to be ever mindful as to which Flower was a Joker.

Using the Flowers that had people on them as Jokers!

Using the Flowers that had people on them as Jokers!

I bought stickers to make jokers, but I was discouraged not to use stickers on the tiles, as they can devalue the set by causing it to discolor from the residue from the glue from the stickers.  And as you can see in the picture above, that had happened already on the tiles that Mrs. Stern had stickered in the past.

Luckily, I was able to remove the residue, with a safe, “green” cleaner, but I didn’t want to take the chance to discolor them again.  So, ah, I had a real dilemma.  How can I be true to the “cause” to use the set, without ruining it’s beauty?  I asked the on line community’s opinion, and I can tell you there was no shortage of opinions!  And if I had to tally the nays vs the yays to sticker, I would say the sticker people won out.  But I could not bring myself to sticker the extra Flowers.  So…. what to do?  I even liked the joker stickers and wanted to use them.

Beautiful Joker Stickers that I bought on line

Beautiful Joker Stickers that I bought on line

Eureka!  I had an idea!  (Or maybe it was actually an idea from one of the on line community posters).   I went on Etsy and found orphan tiles – that at least in the picture and the description sounded like they might match.  So I took the chance; they arrived this week.  And to my absolute surprise, I lucked out!  They are an exact color match!  So the set it now complete with jokers – lovely with Asian scenes and will be back on the MahJ table this week.

Back in action

Back in action

The moral of the story?  Don’t sticker your good set of tiles – go find “extra orphans” of which there are many, and sticker those.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the saga.  I hope by sharing my learning experience, it will help you keep your older sets intact  while still allowing you to enjoy it’s use.

An old set back in play while preserving it's beauty.  Thanks everyone for your input!

An old set back in play while preserving it’s beauty. Thanks everyone for your input!

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