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John Ayer wrote on 2010-10-08 UTC
Murray, writing a hundred years ago, illustrated a similar set from a German periodical, and described the design as traditional, so it appears to go back a couple of centuries, at least. While trying to find any further information on the subject I learned that before the Age of Plastic the pieces were usually made of teak, though ivory and horn were also used. If cowrie shells were not available, the craftsman might substitute disks in the same material the pieces were made of.

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