Playing Card Deck


From: China | Shantou

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 29-238-18
Current Location Collections Storage
Culture Chinese
Provenience China | Shantou
Period 19th Century
Date Made 1889 - 1893
Section Asian
Materials Paper | Ink | Pigment
Technique Printed
Iconography Chess
Inscription Language Chinese Language

116 rectangular playing cards based on Chinese Chess (象棋 xiangqi). Backs white with hexagonal motif in gray. Two types of face cards. One is sparse black on white with a pair of circular motifs enclosing a Chinese character and a single character (same for each of this type) in between. The surface of the second type is entirely filled with printing including Chinese characters, two dragons and a coin. This type is sometimes all in black and sometimes in black and red.

From Culin publication: "No. 18. - From Swatow. Eight each of the seven black and of the seven white men, except that of the soldiers, there are ten of each color. The Generals (Kings) are elaborately ornamented. Long, narrow gray cards, apt to curl up. Total, 116. This, in common with all other packs of its class, is known as Ku-ma-p'au, "Rook-knight-cannon."

Length 7.3 cm
Width 1.6 cm
Credit Line Purchased from William Henry Wilkinson, 1903
Other Number Wilkinson 18 - Collector Number | 29-191-242.13 - Old Museum Number

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