Gaming Counters

(I’ll leave the Academy Award Blog to Amanda, but just gotta say–Is there anything Hugh Jackman can’t do????)

Last week my friends Mary Blayney, Julie Halperson, Lavinia Kent, and I finally got together for our Christmas dinner–(we were all very busy)

This was my gift to each of them. It is The Jane Austen Centre’s eco-friendly shopping bag. You can order one of your own, or any number of lovely things here.

This is what Lavinia gave me:

Gaming Counters from the 19th Century! What our Regency heroes and heroines gambled with, like we would gamble with poker chips.

It was the fashion in the mid-1700s -1800s to use these small (that’s a US quarter to give you an idea of size) mother-of-pearl chips for gambling, or even friendly games of cards. The chips came from China, through the East India Company. Each is carved and each have a Chinese scene on them. Here is a nice little history of the Chinese gaming counters.

And here is a good image of two counters and the kind of detail that are on them.

The gaming counters came in a variety of shapes, some like fish.

These are what Lydia Bennett meant in Pride & Prejudice, when she talked “incessantly of lottery tickets, of the fish she had lost and the fish she had won…”

You can win this set of counters on ebay.

Some of you know Lavinia. She was a 2008 Golden Heart Finalist and has been a GH finalist a bunch of times. Her GH entry, A Talent for Sin, sold to Avon and will be released in May!! She’ll be our Risky Regency guest author when the book is released.

Do you like to play cards? What is your favorite card or board or computer game?
Do you like eco-friendly bags? Do you use them at the grocery store?
Have you found something Hugh Jackman can’t do?

Visit Diane’s website to learn about her April Undone, The Unlacing of Miss Leigh, and her April Novella, Justine and the Noble Viscount, in The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor.
Diane is also blogging today at Wet Noodle Posse about “Writing Love Scenes from Real Life”

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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Mallory Pickerloy
13 years ago

Diane, I really loved your cover for The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor, and the title of it. Speaking of titles, I love the one for; Unlacing of Miss Leigh. (Reminds me of Vivian Leigh)

Those gaming Gaming Counters are actually quite beautifull.

I like all sorts of board/card games, and I really do love some video games; from War (even the over graphic ones) to Mystery. Like all Agatha Christie games are a favourite mystery game as well as Nancy Drew. Always beautifully done and fun to play. Very addictive.

Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

Those gambling counters are exquisite, O Divine One. What a thoughtful gift, Lavinia, my fellow Pixie Chick!

I do love card games and board games. My late DH and I were champion Trivial Pursuit players in our circle of friends. We were also great at Rook. I’m not sure if everyone knows what that is. It is more a Southern card game. I grew up playing it.

I have been studying Cara’s great handouts on whist and piquet. I would love to get really good at whist.

Monopoly is a Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition at my Mom’s. We always play as a family at those gatherings. My niece and nephews get a big kick out of beating the old folks.

I do use eco friendly bags and have for years. I got used to using them when I lived in Germany in the late 80’s and have used them ever since.

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

I have no gambling counters, but they are so pretty! I’m terrible at card games–for some reason I have trouble keeping all the rules in my head. I would have been one of those ditzy ladies in the card room at a ball, losing all my pin money.

Wish I had made a bet on my Oscar predictions, though πŸ™‚

13 years ago

Great pics of the gaming counters. Rather more beautiful than poker chips.

I’m not a game person aside from the occasional Scrabble showdown and I do use shopping bags. Trader Joes has some that are sorta waterproof.

Big congrats to Lavinia on her sale!

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Hi, Mallory! I’m glad you like my cover and I have to say Vivian Leigh is one of my very favorite actresses of all time.

I’m addicted to Spider Solitaire on the pc at the moment…

Louisa, O Doggie One, I have played ROOK! and lots of monopoly in my day. I was always horrible at Trivial Pursuit.

There are some great online versions of Whist (German Whist) and Piquet at Meggie Soft Games

Amanda, I can so see you playing Whist!
I thought the winners at the Oscars were quite predictable–and I didn’t see ANY of the movies. (but I enjoyed Hugh Jackman a lot!)

Janegeorge, I also have been playing scrabble online….you may get the picture for what I do when I should be writing….

My daughter goes to Trader Joes all the time. I should have her get some bags for me. Our grocery store GIANT has some nice ones. too. I have 7 of those I use all the time now. My Jane Austen one (I also bought myself one)is for special stores.

Cara King
13 years ago

I love your fish, Diane!

I do like cards and other games, though I’m “no bridge player.” But I do love piquet, cribbage, backgammon, gin rummy, cassino…

And I have a lot of friends who are major gamers, so I play a variety of games there. My favorite recent find was a game where you get to throw your enemies into Vesuvius. πŸ™‚


13 years ago

Yes! I know! Hugh Jackman was funny and charming and fab! What girl didn’t want to be Anne Hathaway!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

“Amanda, I can so see you playing Whist!’

Well, maybe I will try it at the Beau Monde Soiree this summer! If you and Cara will help me… πŸ™‚

Janet Mullany
13 years ago

I used to play whist a lot and some bridge, and then one day I realized it was only a game… and lost interest immediately. I also played cribbage, which is about the only card game I think I’d ever like to play again.

Other than that, I like to thrash my nearest and dearest at scrabble.

I love gaming counters–they’re so gorgeous! What a nice gift to receive.

13 years ago

“I also played cribbage, which is about the only card game I think I’d ever like to play again.”

I loved cribbage as a kid.(It was big in Wisconsin where I grew up.) There was something so appealing about “skunking” someone. And the pegs progressing around the board reminded me of horses on a racetrack.
Of course, “What have you got in your crib?” means something altogether different today!

13 years ago

Here’s something Hugh can’t do…he can’t seem to find his way to my house. That’s the one thing he can’t do…yet.

What lovely gifts. I’m not very good at card games. I don’t think I’m competative enough, lol. I have enjoyed playing some Italian card games with my family. There’s a lot of shouting and one-upmanship that goes on with one of them. Plus the cards make me feel like I’m living in another time. They have the same look and feel they’ve had for centuries.

And how exciting to hear about a new author coming in the month of May. I really must update my new releases calander. On second thought, maybe I should create a new release calander first.

Cara King
13 years ago

Well, maybe I will try it at the Beau Monde Soiree this summer! If you and Cara will help me… πŸ™‚

Sorry, Amanda, I won’t be there! πŸ™

But really, whist is very like modern bridge without the bidding phase…


Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Cara, what will we do without you at the Soiree? You are our gaming hell hostess!

Janet, my mother would not have agreed with you that Bridge was ONLY a card game!

Santa, Hugh Jackman can find his way to your house, but he’s waiting for your invitation, the gentleman that he is.

M, Anne Hathaway was my model for the heroine in The Unlacing Of Miss Leigh. I think she is such a beautiful person and seems like a genuinely nice one!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Cara, then I will just have to call you during the card game and ask for your guidance πŸ™‚

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

Riskies, a quick note to say that I’ll be offline for the most part for the next few days. Our cable modem and network router blew out yesterday, because the egg beater was turned on. REALLY!! I couldn’t make this up; my imagination isn’t that fantastic. πŸ™‚

Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Oh no, Keira! We’ll miss you. No more beating eggs, okay?

13 years ago

I do like playing cards and other games quite a bit–I play with my darling wife regularly, and with various friends quite often. (The one bit of leisure at the conference I went to over the weekend was seeing some friends who had moved away, and playing a card game with them.)

But I’ve decided against being too much of a “serious gamer,” because it’s too much work! I have to think pretty hard at times for my job, so it sometimes seems a bit much to do so for relaxation as well…

And we do use eco-friendly bags! πŸ™‚


13 years ago

Keira wrote:

Our cable modem and network router blew out yesterday, because the egg beater was turned on.

It’s The Revenge of the Eggs! They’ve been beaten…they’ve been scrambled, fried, and poached. Now, it’s payback time!