Playing Card Deck

Object Number:29-238-7
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: China
Period: 19th Century
Date Made: 1889 - 1893
Early Date: 1889
Late Date: 1893
Iconography:Money Suited
White Flower
Old Thousand
Wang Ying
Water Margin
Inscription Language:Chinese Language
Length: 7.1 cm
Width: 3 cm
Credit Line:Purchased from William Henry Wilkinson, 1903
Other Number:Wilkinson 7 - Collector Number
29-191-242.20 - Old Museum Number


"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), and three extra court cards. One court card is the red flower card that goes with the cash suit and has the characters 達利 on it, the name of the manufactuer of the deck. The Old Thousand card has 假冒達利,男盜女娼 running down the sides of the card, 敬惜字紙 at the top meaning "respectfully cherish writing and paper", as well as 達利 on the bottom. The white flower card has 達利林記 on the top meaning "Lin Brand of the Da Li" company. The maker's sign Da Li 達利 also appears on the 1 of cash, 1 of myriads, and the 1 of strings cards. The 6 of cash has 遠來 meaning "come from afar" a reference to The Analects by Confucious and the 7 of cash has the character for social harmony 和. The 7 of myriads has 秦名 on it, a reference to the character 秦明 in the story the Water Margin. The deck is made of 120 playing cards. Rectangular cards of white paper with black printing on both sides. One side of each card with geometric diapered pattern. Some of the cards have stamped red seals over the face of the card. There are index marks on the top and bottom to indicate the suits and pips for each card.

From Culin publication: "From Fuchau. Four packets of thirty; no jokers. Index marks for pips and suits. Maker's sign, Tai-li, on Aces and coat cards. Diapered backs. Total, 120."

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Peace Around the World: Toys and Games for All the Ages (08 Dec 1996 - 31 Aug 1997) View Objects in Exhibition


[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. 136-137, No. 7View Objects related to this Actual Citation

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