Bill Neal’s Queen Charlotte mother of pearl gaming counter.

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I have been collecting counters for years and my prize counter is one that was made for George II c.1730, bought at a provincial antique fair for £1.

I don’t know if there are any others in circulation but have always imagined the rest of the set languishing in a Buckingham Palace attic.

Back in the day, serious counter collectors visited that brilliant and inspirational ‘master of all things armorial’, David Howard of Hay Hill, London.

David reckoned that the only way he could tempt me to let him have my George II counter was to persuade me to swap for his spare Napoleon.

But being a perfect gentleman, he pointed out that I would have a Napoleon but no George II, so he’d have to advise me against it.

Elizabeth Cannon

Elizabeth Cannon Antiques