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Playing Cards from South East Asia

South East Asia

Playing cards, introduced by the Chinese and quickly adopted in Southeast Asia, became pivotal in regional gambling practices, transforming into a primary entertainment form by the 15th century. Over the past 100 years, various producers, artists, and manufacturers from Southeast Asia have continued this tradition, creating card packs that reflect a diverse mix of design and cultural influences.

Brunei • Cambodia • East Timor • Indonesia • Laos • MalaysiaMyanmar (Burma)PhilippinesSingaporeThailandVietnam


REFERENCES:

  • Reid, Anhtony: Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680, Yale University Press, 1988

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3: 20th/21st Century Variants including some from China

3: 20th/21st Century Variants including some from China

I expect most collectors ignore cards made in China for export. It's true that many of them are close copies of American models, but there are also some interesting, even peculiar, redrawings of the standard English pattern.

Back to the 80s Lenormand 2022

Back to the 80s Lenormand

History meets pop culture in a 36-card set that pays tribute to Lenormand's legacy and the colourful world of 1980s Japanese-style comics.

Bet You Don't Want That - an anti-gambling playing cards 2013

Bet You Don't Want That - an anti-gambling playing cards

'Bet You Don't Want That' is an anti-gambling campaign done mid 2013 for an advertising competition.

Bio-Pack

Bio-Pack

Bio-Pack flashcards produced for Thai biology students

Calon Arang • Калон Аранг - Бали

Calon Arang • Калон Аранг - Бали

Calon Arang, a figure from 12th-century Javanese and Balinese folklore known as a witch skilled in black magic, is the subject of a preserved manuscript at the Royal Netherlands Institute. Калон Аранг • персонаж яванского и балийского фольклора, датируемого 12 веком. Традиция называет ее ведьмой, мастером черной магии. Неизвестно, кто сочинил эту историю, но рукопись текста Калон Аранга (написанная латинским алфавитом) хранится в Королевском нидерландском институте исследований Юго-Восточной Азии и Карибского бассейна.

Ceki Cards 1901

Ceki Cards

Indonesian Ceki cards

Chi Chi Pai 1890

Chi Chi Pai

Chinese “Chi Chi Pai” Playing Cards by Mesmaekers Frères for Far East market.

Children’s Vocabulary Cards 2016

Children’s Vocabulary Cards

Thai Children’s Colour Vocabulary Cards promoting Ovaltine chocolate malt drink, 2016.

Donkey game from Malaysia 1984

Donkey game from Malaysia

“Donkey” children's card game designed and created by Ooi Yan Hee, manufactured by Hee Trading Co., Malaysia, 1984

Double Elephant & Double Dragon

Double Elephant & Double Dragon

Double Elephant brand Four Colour cards

Dutch costume playing cards 1860

Dutch costume playing cards

Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.

EPCS February 2024 Newsletter

EPCS February 2024 Newsletter Members Only

Lenthall's Delightful Cards • Cards supposedly by Wheeler • No, It Isn't an Early Wheeler • Chloe Campbell's Wren Cards • Speed: the Motor Cards • “Melox” Happy Families • Playing Cards for the Pegu Club • Military Card Backs • The Worshipful Company • Cards 2023-24 • The Blitz and Wartime Card Production in Britain • Henry Reason's Game of Parliament • Aesop's Fables

Far East 1980

Far East

Far East playing cards with designs by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano, c.1980.

Four Colour Cards / 四色牌 / Si Sek Pai 1900

Four Colour Cards / 四色牌 / Si Sek Pai

Four Colour Cards made in Belgium for Far Eastern markets

Garuda Indonesia 1990

Garuda Indonesia

Souvenir playing cards from Garuda Indonesia Airlines, the national airline of Indonesia.

Garuda Indonesia Airline 1985

Garuda Indonesia Airline

Souvenir pack from Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, c.1985.

Hee Trading Co

Hee Trading Co

Hee Trading Co., Malaysia, manufacture board games, jig-saw puzzles, chess sets, games compendiums as well as card games such as Happy Families, Donkey and Snap.

Hokkien Four Colour Cards

Hokkien Four Colour Cards

The characters on the cards are written one way for red and yellow, and another for green and white. They are: 將 士 象 車 馬 包 兵 for white and green; 帥 仕 相 俥 傌 炮 卒 for red and yellow.

Joseph Bardou & Fils cigarette papers 1880

Joseph Bardou & Fils cigarette papers

Delightful pack advertising Joseph Bardou & Fils cigarette papers for the Philippines.