Illustrated playing cards featuring characters from “The Water Margin”, a Chinese novel attributed to Shi Nai'an, considered a classic of Chinese literature. Various forms of cards exist as the images often appear on Chinese money-suited, domino or Mah-Jong decks. This edition is a double French suited pack containing a total of 108 colourful images from “The Water Margin”. The choice of issuing the cards as a two-deck set is significant. The total number of cards, 108, is also the total number of characters in the book. Notable characters include Wu Song on the king of spades. He is depicted committing his most famous deed - killing a tiger that terrorized a mountain pass. One ace of spades depicts Lin Chong, another character. Everything else is explained on the Info Card►
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I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.
Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.
Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.
I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.
Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.
Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.
Cheerful, colourful designs on handmade paper from Nepal.
Estonian national costumes and everyday items feature on this pack made in Estonia.
A colourful pack of round cards with Ganjifa designs by Asha Industries, Mumbai, India, 2002.
Pack designed for La Maison de L’Artisanat Ltée, Mauritius, by Hervé de Cotter.
Non-standard designs on Nepalese handmade paper for Pilgrims Book House, Kathmandu, Nepal, c.2000.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Classic 1940s Pulp Pin-Up covers on playing cards from China, c.2010.
8068 by Diaoyu Poker (China) 2019.
Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.
Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.
Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990.
Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950.
Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.
Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.
Khanhoo by Charles Goodall & Son, 1895.
Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Dickens Snap, c.1890.
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.
La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, published by Jeux et Jouets Français. Paris, early 1900s.
Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board by Tony Hall.
Wonderland Misfitz by C.W. Faulkner & Co. Ltd, c.1908.
National Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co c.1900.
World of Harry Potter playing cards produced by Winning Moves under Waddingtons Number 1 brand, 2019.
Many Folk Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1906.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Ethiopian Air Lines playing cards designed by Melles Habtezghi with courts wearing regional costumes, c.1969.
Boekenkwartet featuring illustrations from children's books, 1970s.
Aesop’s Fables playing cards by I. Kirk, c.1759.
Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.
“Naipes Criollos” Gaucho playing cards, 1995.
Naipes Cardón designed by Mario Luis Rivero depicting traditional Argentine culture and identity, 2002.
Naipes “Martín Fierro” based on the epic poem by José Hernandez.
A Motley Pack - transformation playing cards & ‘On The Cards’ book facsimile published by Sunish Chabba, 2019.
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005.