China

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China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:58 am  

Antique Chinese Playing Cards of the Money suit
Also called Gun Pai ("stick cards" or "cane cards")


Money suit array.jpg
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This deck was made around 1900 for Singapore, Indonesia and other Far East markets, possibly by Biermans of Turnhout, Belgium. It consists of one deck of 60 cards, made up of 2 sets of 30 money suited cards for use in regional games such as the Tseen-Wan game in Java. It came wrapped in a paper wrapper as you see above. The backs of cards like these were often blank, or had a single colour like the yellow back shown above.

Money suit 1.jpg
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One of the oldest types of playing-cards, and some argue the first playing cards ever used. Money cards were inspired by the old local coins, to which the graphic look of the suits is related. These patterns are popular especially in the regions along China's central and southern areas and can be found in neighbouring countries as well.


Money suit 2.jpg
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Three suits
-The Coins (Jian or Qian) suit features a stylized pattern related to old Chinese coins with a square hole in their center.
-The Strings (Tiao) show these coins threaded on a string, as Chinese people used to carry them. This appears as a striped pattern representing these threads as seen from the side. Strings are equal to 100 coins.
-The cards of Myriads (Wan) of coins have stylized patterns inspired by characters from Shui-hu Chuan, "The Water Margin", a well-known 14th century Chinese novel. Myriads are 10,000 coins, or, a multitude of coins.

Money suit detail.jpg
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The values of these cards run from 1 to 9, plus a number of honour cards of higher rank.
Some decks also have one or more special subjects, as in this deck's Myriads suit.

You can find a similar deck listed in the Fournier Catalogue: vol. 1, page 314, #30 of China
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Re: China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:22 pm  

Vintage Sun Wukong Pu Ke

Sunwukong front.jpg
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This is one of my favorite decks. I don't know the year but I'm guessing 1960s from the colours and apparent age. I have never seen another like it and wasn't looking for it when it crossed my path.

Sunwukong 1small.jpg
Sunwukong 1small.jpg (536.35 KiB) Viewed 1591 times


I found it around the time UC first went down and posted it to the Discourse where Digipunk was kind enough to tell me the following:


孫 (Sun, pronounced as "soon" instead of "son") is his surname, and 悟空(wu-kong) is his first name. Therefore it is correct to express his full name as "Sun Wukong" or "Sun Wu-Kong" in English. 悟 (wu) means "to realize" and 空 (kong) means "emptiness", so "悟空" has a Buddhist meaning in Chinese.

"Poker" is transliterated to "撲克" in Chinese, and they transliterated "撲克" back to English as "Pu Ke"

Sunwukong 2small.jpg
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Sun Wukong is also known as "The Monkey King" and is a popular figure. He has super powers and was born from an ancient rock. To me he has a similarity to a comic book type character, but he first appeared as the main character in a Chinese novel of the 1500s called "Journey to the West". The images on the cards are based on Wukong's adventures in that book.(Thank you Volantangel)

You can read more about Sun Wukong here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Wukong...
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Re: China

Unread postby volantangel » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:40 am  

Yup thats a deck that is based on the story of Journey to the West. Quite a classic in the chinese world. The court cards depict the adventures that of WuKong.

A little more information. The Chinese characters on the court cards are readin columns top to bottom, from the right to left. As that is how it is traditionally read. For the ad-card/joker in the 1st picture, it is read from left to right, a more modern usage of the Chinese character. It states the printer's name.
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Re: China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:53 am  

Thanks Volant!
What is the printer's name from the joker?
Would the order of reading the characters indicate a possible date for this deck?
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Re: China

Unread postby volantangel » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:07 am  

Well Dazzle its:
吉林省怀德县印刷厂

Basically its just the name of the state and province. Not much to work with from there. And the type of writing isnt a good indication of when this deck is printed, it is still being used nowadays. However the characters used on the deck are simplified Chinese Characters, and that is only introduced in China in 1950s onwards.
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Re: China

Unread postby craftspell » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:28 am  

volantangel wrote:Well Dazzle its:
吉林省怀德县印刷厂

Basically its just the name of the state and province. Not much to work with from there. And the type of writing isnt a good indication of when this deck is printed, it is still being used nowadays. However the characters used on the deck are simplified Chinese Characters, and that is only introduced in China in 1950s onwards.


Hey volantangel don't mind if i ask, but where are you from? You seem to know Chinese very well!
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Re: China

Unread postby volantangel » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:43 pm  

From Singapore =D, yeap im pretty good with the chinese language, well it is afterall my second language
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Re: China

Unread postby craftspell » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:17 am  

Cool from Singapore just like the Virts! I'm from HK and i gotta ask: do you have a special way for storing your card collection under the extreme moisture in Singapore?
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Re: China

Unread postby volantangel » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:31 am  

Yup just like the Virts, As for storing cards, i dont have a particular way of storing cards, but i basically have them stored in boxes with small silica gel packets, to reduce moisture.
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Re: China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:27 pm  

The Faces of Chinese Opera


Faces of Chinese Opera backjokersbox.jpg

These jokers were what really sold me on this deck. The Monkey King relates to my Sun WuKong deck, and the other joker is just plain one of the weirdest faces I have ever seen. The box, shown to the right in the picture, is a two part slide box - matchbox style but with thick doubled up walls on the inner box.

Chinese Opera Spades.jpg

I don't have a lot of info on these cards. From what I remember they are vintage, and a special edition, but for some reason I have nothing in my files.

Chinese Opera hearts.jpg

I can only fit 9 cards on my scanner so the lower numbered pip cards won't be shown.
I'm not big on the "a different image on every card" decks, unless the images are particularly bizarre/unusual, or beautiful, and these definitely fit the bill.

Chinese Opera Clubs.jpg

I like the 3/4 views used for these since they seem to give the faces more shape and the graphics don't look as flat as they do when shown straight on. I guess it just has a more organic feel.

Chinese Opera Diamonds.jpg


This rather cryptic slip of paper was in the box with the deck. It seems to be a quality control measure, but if it has any info about the deck itself I would be grateful for the interpretation.
Chinese Opera quality slip.jpg
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Re: China

Unread postby volantangel » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:19 pm  

Dazz, the card is more of a guarantee card than a quality control card, it states that if you have any missing cards kindly mail this card with the missing cards filled in and they will send you a replacement.
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Re: China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:58 am  

Thanks Volant!
Could you tell me what the meaning is of the numbers near the bottom of the slip?
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Re: China

Unread postby volantangel » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:21 am  

Ok the row with the numbers is the name of the manufacturer, followed by the postal code, then the address on the next row.

it directly translates into :

Product of Shanghai Forest Printing Factory, Postal Code: 200032
(Address, not gonna translate an address lol)

Btw: The card is horribly miscut, the cut off words at the bottom are actually the top half of the words you see on top, Ironically, it means certificate of quality.

Interested in some random things on the faces of the chinese opera? The faces are all based on traditional folklore of china, most famous of them all would be "Journey to the West" with monkey king and his pals (the other joker that dazz mentioned is the Pig that went with the monkey king on the journey). As many people could not read in the past, they made them into opera for masses to be able to appreciate. There is another form of art that uses these faces, and that is Bian Lian (Changing faces), they swap between masks in an instant, similar to the magic of rapidly changing clothes in the western magic realm.

Heres a vid:
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Re: China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:32 pm  

So the operas were the "graphic novel" versions of literature for the illiterate.

Great video. He actually did one of the face changes without the cover of his cape.
I looked it up on Wikipedia and the face changes in Bian Lian usually tell a story too.

I thought that miscut was funny when I mistook this for a quality control card - even funnier that the words being cut off are the only ones about quality.
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Re: China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:45 pm  

Space
585 Elephant


Another favourite deck from my drawer of Chinese playing cards. I have three decks with different backs, but with the same boxes and card faces. The black back comes from a blue box while the red backs are from red boxes.
585 Elephant backs joker ace.jpg

585 Elephant boxes.jpg



My fondness for this deck can't be explained by simply looking at it next to the more unusual or attractive decks from my collection. In fact there are many "flaws" in this deck, but even each "flaw" seems to me to lend an appeal to the cards.
585 Elephant spades hearts.jpg



The deck has no plastic coating, so the feel of paper is part of touching the cards. The ink also tends to wear away a bit with use, just enough to lend a feeling of age that compliments the old style graphics and text. The paper itself is not a pure white and has irregularities in it, from less than tidy manufacturing, so there is a varied off-white background for the graphics. The card faces gain a festive look from being held up to light - showing the card back pattern through the cardboard which does not have the dark glue layer of proper card stock. The courts are standard, but their expressions look very contented and serene.
585 Elephant clubs diamonds.jpg



In contrast to the "flaws" of this deck, there seems to be real pride and craftsmanship in the making of these cards. The graphics have been designed with care, and the printing is precise. The backs are full bleed, but very distinct to the decks, not just another Bee knock-off. The elephants on the jokers and ace are very expressive, shown in mid-motion and voice, with the hand-written style of text adding emphasis.
585 Elephant pips.jpg


Made in Shanghai, China, but using French and English text, I at first thought the deck was intended specifically for the bilingual Canadian market, but it would be just as at-home in any country that uses both English and French languages.

I would appreciate hearing about, and seeing, any other backs this deck may have, or variations in the box and card faces.
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Re: China

Unread postby dazzleguts » Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:10 pm  

Space
Chinese Domino "Fifteen Point Cards"
Double Elephant brand distributed by the Guan Huat Company
Made in Hong Kong


Chinese domino cards, or 十五湖 as they are known in China, are very old and are practically extinct.

"An 11th century source reports that the game of cards appeared in the middle of the T'ang dynasty (613-906) and “that a certain Yang Tan-ien greatly esteemed the playing of cards”, and that these cards had markings taken from dice." (from WOPC.co.uk)

Chinese Domino cut 1.jpg


This particular domino deck consists of 21 individual cards representing all possible throws of 2 dice, and each card repeats 4 times, making for a total of 84 cards. The 1s, 4s and one row of the double 6s, are red, just like on Chinese domino tiles, and I think that is done for quicker identification. Chinese dice have red pips for the 4, and sometimes the one as well.

Chinese Domino cut 2.jpg


The backs of the cards are plain or have a solid colour. The backs of this deck are a reddish-brown, as can be seen with the last turned card in the picture below. Games played with this deck include Pai Gow and Tau Ngau.

Chinese Domino cut 3.jpg


Fifteen Point Cards are typically divided into 2 halves by a small picture, sometimes a symbol of the blessings of life, other times including swimmers, dogs, and flowers which reflect the nicknames of the domino combinations. For example, the 2-4 is called "the chicken"( 么雞三) and has that animal on it. Occasionally the card will come with two versions of it's subject image, as in the swimmer, the dog and the chicken in this deck.

Domino detail.jpg


In many cases, when the card involved does not have an associated image the picture is of the brand trademark, or the written company name. The deck shown here is branded Double Elephant and shows the 2 elephants that are on the box also on many of the cards.

Chinese Domino box small.jpg
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I haven't been able to set a date for this deck but I'm guessing, from the clothing in the drawings, mid 20th century.


Besides the quote from World Of Playing Cards (WOPC), most of this information came from Andy's Playing Cards:
http://a_pollett.tripod.com/cardpgal.htm
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Re: China

Unread postby Jock1971 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:31 am  

3-Suited Chinese Money Cards
Following on from the first post in this thread, here is another example of the 3-suited money cards.
The pack contains 60 cards, 2 sets of 30 card with each set containing 3 suits of 9 number cards and 3 "Extra" cards. each card measures 20mm x 80mm and have plain green backs. no wrapper but a plain paper band around the cards holding them together. Unknown maker i`m afraid.
Hopefully i`ve displayed each suit in its proper order..but can`t be 100% sure.
Coins.jpg
Coins Suit

Dazzelguts has pretty much expained the structure of the Chinese money cards in the first post, so i`ll describe a few of the different styles of Money cards starting with-
The Naturalistic Style - This style displays realism in the representation of the Human figures with faces displaying recognisable individual features. The stacks of strings of coins and groups of single coins are also easily recognisable. Occasionally, objects such as fish or bats appear and these too are portrayed realistically. Bold edge patterns representing the cards identity are at the top and bottom of each card.
Strings.jpg
Strings Suit

The Linear Style - This style displays partial abstraction (or partial realism) in the representation of the human figures and the strings of cash and cash coins show marked geometrical designs in their forms. Thus the human faces are becoming mask-like and the strings are in the form of columns, the coins are also geometrical in shape and the lower values heavily abstracted. Some examples will show loss of the value patterns from the top and bottom of the cards and the graphics are very linear and thin lined.
Myriad of Coins.jpg
Myriad of Coins Suit

The Geometrical Style - This style features the complete decomposition of the human figures, the strings of cash and the cash coins into heavily abstracted geometrical motifs. The graphical lines are very thick and linear with small value patterns.

"Uncut" Test Pressing produced by Van Genetchen of belgium
Another example of the 3-suited money cards, printed on thin paper and dated 1890 produced by Van Genetchen of turnout, Belgium for exportation to the far east. We can see the human faces of the Myriad suit being "Maks-like" which places these in the Linear style as opposed to the more Geometrical style of the above pack where the myriad suit shows the human form as being very abstact indeed.
uncut.jpg
Uncut sheet


Thanks for looking at my cards :D - jase -
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