Jim May: ‘A very hard decision to take’
- Created on Sunday, 20 December 2009 08:46
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:00
- Written by Martin Rep
He still hopes to sell the collection as a whole
HAZELWOOD, MO, United States - Jim May, the owner of the Mah Jong Cyber Museum, is quite sad about selling his collection. In an interview with MahjongNews, he says: "Unfortunately I did make that decision and no it was not an easy decision to make. But in the past years I've had less and less time to deal with everything. With raising four children, my time was drawn in different directions and mahjong received less and less of my time.
Mr. May would love to see his collection sold as a whole. He has tried to contact the Mahjong Museum in Chiba, Japan, but to no avail. This is quite remarkable since, on April 10th 1999, Jim May was the guest of honor at the Grand Opening of this museum. He also had advised Mr. Kyoichiru Noguchi, the director of the Japanese museum, about building up his collection.
The majority of Jim May's collection is on the website (www.mahjongmuseum.com). "I have a few miscellaneous pieces I've picked up in the last few years, but nothing really out of the normal. Size-wise I believe I have around 315 sets of different types and items related to the game."
The value of the collection is considerable, but hard to estimate. "I would have to say that the total of the actual sets are somewhere around $50,000 sold individually", Jim May says. "The sad part about breaking it up is that without selling it as a collection, all of the miscellaneous items and research is going to fall off the grid and most likely never seen again. That is the hardest part of breaking up the collection and the part of the decision that I still have a hard time with."
All sales are over the internet as everything is stored away and not really viewable. Jim May, however, hopes that it might be accessible for the public if someone comes forward with interest in buying the whole museum to keep it together. "Then special arrangements could be made for someone to view everything. Mr. May has sent notes to a few museums which might be interested. "I still hope this happens", says Jim May.
It is not sure if there will be time enough for that. After the announcement being made, Mr. May received many e-mails. From people who are interested in special pieces, but also from friends with whom he had contact in the past. "It is just great, and it reminds me of all the great relationships I've made over the years through the site.
"At one point it began to take over my wife with upwards of hundreds of emails everyday and no time to keep up with everything, which led me to step away from everything. I still feel bad about it, but at the time it had to be done. Now I'm at a point that with children starting college that I need to pass the museum onto someone that will move forward with it."
"Hopefully", he adds with a sigh.Website of the Mah Jong Cyber MuseumWebsite of the Mahjong Museum in Japan