Playing Card Deck


From: China | Chongqing

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 29-238-33
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Chinese
Provenience China | Chongqing
Period 19th Century
Date Made 1889 - 1893
Section Asian
Materials Paper | Ink
Technique Printed
Iconography Numbers | Flowers

Playing cards based on numbers. Rectangular cards with rounded corners. Faces with black and red (2, 7, 10) Chinese characters at each end and flowers and scenes from plays at the center. There are four sets, with the numbers 1-10 in both xiaoxie 小寫 "small writing": 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十 or daxie 大寫 "large writing": 壹, 貳, 叁, 肆, 伍, 陸, 柒, 捌, 玖, 拾. The images on each card are either a single peony or double peony, a flower with branch, or a scene from a play. Tacky yellow coating. Red backs.

From Culin publication: "No. 33. - From Chungch'ing. The first ten natural numbers (a) in large script, (b) in small script, four of each. Of each number, one card bears a scene from a play, the remaining three cards have one, or sometimes two, branches of flowers, in red. The numbers II, VII, X, 2, 7, 10, are printed in red with a spray of peony blossom; the rest are in black, I, III, IV, V with a single bunch, VI, VIII, IX with a double branch, of flowers, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 all with a double bunch. Total, 80."

Length 11.5 cm
Width 2.2 cm
Credit Line Purchased from William Henry Wilkinson, 1903
Other Number Wilkinson 33 - Collector Number | 29-191-241.7 - Old Museum Number

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