Playing Card Deck


From: China | Shanxi | Taiyuan

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 29-238-17
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Chinese
Provenience China | Shanxi | Taiyuan
Period 19th Century
Date Made 1889 - 1893
Section Asian
Materials Paper | Ink
Technique Printed
Iconography Money Suited | White Flower | Old Thousand | Wang Ying | Water Margin | Fish
Inscription Language Chinese Language

"Stick cards" or Gun Pai 棍牌. This type of deck contains money cards with three suits: 1-9 of cash, 1-9 of strings (of cash) and 1-9 of myriads (of strings) (wan). There are also three extra court cards, the White Flower card, the Old Thousand card, and the Wang Ying card, all with a red stamp printed on them. The White Flower card has 代宗 Daizong in the middle with a stylized flower above. The Old Thousand card has writing at the top but it is hard to make out. The 王英 Wang Ying card (a character from the Water Margin) has portrait of Wang Ying with the character 富 Fu , "abundance" at the top. The 2 of cash has the character 六 Liu in the middle. The 1 of strings has a fish motif. The character 福 Fu, "good fortune" appears on the 8 of myriads. Wang also appears on the 8 of myriads card. Pack of 120 rectangular playing cards. (3 suits of cards numbered 1-9 = 27 of which there are four sets = 108, plus 3 court cards which also have four sets, 3 x 4 = 12, 108 +12 = 120). The backs are a dark green-blue. The faces are printed in black on white within a rectangular border.

From Culin publication: "No. 9. - From Taiyuan, Shansi. Four packets of thirty; no jokers. Index marks for pips only. Designs very conventional. Total, 120." or "No. 17. - From Yu-tz'u, near Taiyuan, Shansi. Four packets of thirty each; no jokers. Index marks for pips only. Designs very conventional. Total, 120."

Credit Line Purchased from William Henry Wilkinson, 1903
Other Number Wilkinson 17 - Collector Number | Wilkinson 9 - Collector Number | CG94-1-12 - Found in Collection Number

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