Ceki Cards

Ceki cards from Indonesia. The design of these cards is more or less identical to those produced by manufacturers in Malaysia or Belgium. The card second from right on the top row bears the inscription 榮興記 which also occurs in Belgian-made Ceki packs and which could be a maker’s name or simply an auspicious phrase. Most probably both Belgian and Indonesian makers copied their Ceki cards from a common source without knowing what the characters meant (or if they represented language at all). The presence of a bat on the wrapper is easily explained. In Chinese, the words for "Bat" and "fortune" are homonyms - a most appropriate symbol!

Indonesian Ceki cards

Above: Indonesian Ceki cards, c.1901.


Thanks to Anthony Lee for additional research. Visit his blog here

Last Updated August 21, 2016 at 01:59pm


Join the Newsletter

Editor’s Picks

Playing cards have enormous educational value, with a long history and many diverse types and graphical styles from around the world... View More →

back to top