Playing Card Deck


From: China | Shanxi | Taiyuan

Curatorial Section: Asian

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Object Number 29-238-9
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 Old Thousand card has 万千 Wan Qian at the top. The 王英 Wang Ying (a character from the Water Margin) card has a fish with the characer 王 Wang at the top and middle. The strings suit also has a fish motif. 王 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."

Length 7.1 cm
Width 2.7 cm
Credit Line Purchased from William Henry Wilkinson, 1903
Other Number Wilkinson 9 - Collector Number | Wilkinson 17 - Collector Number | 29-191-242.21 - Old Museum Number

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