Lottery Book


From: China | Shandong | Chefoo

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 17555
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Chinese
Provenience China | Shandong | Chefoo
Creator Unknown
Date Made 19th Century - 1895
Section Asian
Materials Paper
Inscription Language Chinese Language | English Language

Six square sheets of paper glued together and printed with the first 80 characters of the Thousand Character Classic in vertical columns inside a square border, and marked up with brush and red ink. A horizontal line of text zhao lai yuan di gei wen tai zao 照來原底給文泰造 runs through the middle of the square. To this is added a company name stamp 利記厰, and a brush-written time, 十三. The company name is stamped on the top and reads: Lee Kee Co. below it says: Night Time. These cards were used to play the gambling game of pok kop piu also known as pakapoo (Mandarin: bai ge piao 白鴿票,"white pigeon lottery"). The aim was to guess correctly twenty characters selected at random from the opening eighty of the Thousand-Character Classic. The game was widely played in Canton, and in overseas Chinese communities. It continues to be played in Macao today under the Portuguese spelling "pacapio" and in US casinos under the name "keno", with numbers 1-80 in place of the original Chinese characters.

Height 13.02 cm
Width 13.97 cm
Credit Line Gift of Maxwell Sommerville, 1895

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