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.
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.
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.
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.
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.