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Playing Card Deck

Playing Card Box

Object Number:29-238-35
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: China
Period: 19th Century
Date Made: 1889 - 1893
Early Date: 1889
Late Date: 1893
Iconography:Writing Lesson
Inscription Language:Chinese Language
Length: 10.5 cm
Width: 2.6 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from William Henry Wilkinson, 1903
Other Number:Wilkinson 35 - Collector Number
29-191-241.14 - Old Museum Number


Playing cards based on a writing lesson with a paper box. Rectangular cards with rounded corners. Backs black matte. Faces with small and large Chinese character on each end in black or red. Faces with Chinese character on each end in black or red which read: 上大人丘乙己, 化三千七十士, 爾小生八九子, 可知礼二四五六. The cards have a tacky yellow coating which has caused many of the cards to stick together. The only cards visible are: 人 (man), 生 (scholar), 礼 (politeness), 五 (5). Paper box consists of bottom tray of white paper with hand written Chinese characters on each end. One side reads: 漢口 (Hankou) and 三七字. The other side has a partial undecipherable character. The word "Hankow" is written in pencil on the box along with 上大人. The tray slides into a paper tube with printed red, green, and blue motif.

From Culin publication: "No. 35. - From Hankow. The screed runs: Sheung tai yan | yau ut ki fa sam ts'in | ts'at shap sz' | Ni siu shang | pat kau tsz' | ho chi lai | i sz' 'ng luk. That is, "Once a great man Yau Ut-ki (Confucious) converted three thousand, seventy were disciples; you small scholars, eight or nine youths, may learn politeness; two, four, five, six." Each of these twenty-one hieroglyphs, except ho, "may," of which there are only four, is quintupled. Total, 124."


[Book] Culin, Robert S. 1895. Korean Games, with Notes on the Corresponding Games of China and Japan.. Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania. Actual Citation : Page/Fig./Plate: pg. 145, No. 35View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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