Friday, 2 November 2012

Chinese Domino cards- "十五湖"

Chinese domino cards- "十五湖" , "Double fish"- 84c.

 We now come to a Most rare and curious deck- The chinese domino cards, or 十五湖 as they are known in that language. I am informed that the cards are cheifly used by the cantonese, But even then, the use of this cards ( at least in singapore, where I got them) is practically extinct. The keeper of the shop informed me that I was the first person under 50 who had inquired about this deck, and after a long and exhaustive search, finally found them
 But, to proceed. The deck consists of 21 individual cards, each repeated 4 times, making for a total of 84 cards.The 21 cards are based on the 21 possible throws of a pair of dice.
Note the following features-
1- the ones and fours are coloured red.
2- The cards are divided into 2 halves by a small picture. In some cases, this is a pair of fishes (the brand name), but in some cases, we see the name "天生"- presuedly the company's name. Other pictures include swimmers, dogs, and flowers. These other vinigettes reflect the nicknames of the combinations. For example, the 5-5 is known as "the plum-blossom"- on that card, we see a little flower. Likewise, the 1-2, is called "the chicken"( 么雞三), and so has a that animal on it. However, not all the card's nicknmes are featured, and in other cases, pictures have been inserted that bear no relavance to the card's name.

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