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Playing Card Deck

Playing Card Box

Object Number:29-238-36
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: 9.2 cm
Width: 2.6 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from William Henry Wilkinson, 1903
Other Number:Wilkinson 36 - Collector Number
29-191-241.15 - Old Museum Number


Playing cards based on a writing lesson in a paper box. Rectangular cards with rounded corners. Backs pale orange. Faces with Chinese character on each end in black or red which read: 上大人孔乙己, 化三千七十士,爾小生八九子, 佳作仁福祿壽. The cards have a tacky yellow coating which has caused many of the cards to stick together. Paper box consists of bottom tray of white paper with hand written Chinese characters on each end. The tray slides into a paper tube with printed red, grey and blue motif.

From Culin publication: "No. 36. - From Hankow, but like No. 35 really from Hunan province. Similar to No. 35, but (a) for Yau is substituted Hung, the surname of Confucious, and for ho chi lai | i sz' 'ng luk, are employed kai tsok yan | fuk luk shau, "gratefully practice humanity; happiness, promotion, longevity;" (b) there are only four of each kind, not five. All handwritten on smooth oiled paper. The first card of each triplet is in red, the other two are in black. The second card has red mark at the top and bottom. The cards have index marks, a miniature hieroglyph at the right-hand corner of each. Total, 96. Fig. 130."


[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. 36, Fig. 130View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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