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Set of Playing Cards with Characters from Water Margin

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Period: Late-Qing dynasty (Qing dynasty, 1644–1911)
Format: Set of 120 cards

Dimensions: Height: 9.3 cm; width: 2.3 cm

Each card in this set depicts a figure from the novel Water Margin (Shuihu zhuan) by Shi Nai’an (act. fourteenth century). The figures’ names and the cards’ signs are also marked on the rectangular cards. These playing cards may have been used by children or adults. Empress Dowager Cixi enjoyed playing cards as one of her many recreational activities.  

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