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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

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hokkien

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Four Colour Cards / 四色牌 / Si Sek Pai

Four Colour Cards made in Belgium for Far Eastern markets

Four Colour Cards / 四色牌 / Si Sek Pai

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.

Hokkien Four Colour Cards

Double Elephant & Double Dragon

Double Elephant brand Four Colour cards

Double Elephant & Double Dragon