University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Object Number:17555
Current Location: Collections Storage
Culture:Chinese
Provenience: China
Shandong
Chefoo
Maker: Unknown
Date Made: 19th Century - 1895
Early Date: 1800
Late Date: 19th Century - 1895
Section:Asian
Materials:Paper
Inscription Language:Chinese Language
English Language
Height: 13.02 cm
Width: 13.97 cm
Credit Line:Gift of Maxwell Sommerville, 1895

Description

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 (Mandarin: bai he piao 百合票,"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.


Bibliography:

[Article] Poster, Amy G. 2014. Stewart Culin: Chinese vernacular Culture in America and the Enchantment of the Museum, in Steuber, Jason & Lai, Guolong. 2014. Collectors, Collections & Collecting the Arts of China: Histories & Challenges. 99-118.View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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