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Cigarette Card Collecting Discussions => General Cigarette Card Collecting Discussion => Topic started by: Athelstan on August 25, 2018, 08:35:35 PM

Title: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Athelstan on August 25, 2018, 08:35:35 PM
Can anyone assist? I have odds from a couple of sets of Chinese cards. Look to be from 20s or 30s.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: IanSammel on August 29, 2018, 08:33:40 AM
Sorry but I can't help you there I'm afraid.  If no-one else has any suggestions have you thought of asking in your local Chinese restaurant/takeaway?  They could well be able to tell you what's written on the back.  I think Sam has tried that approach successfully in the past.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Cedric1812 on August 29, 2018, 11:57:37 AM
:) I did indeed with some Thai (Siam) issues. They loved it actually and were really helpful! One issue with Chinese cards is that the script used is not the same as modern Chinese; a bit like us trying to read Old English but there are a fair few guys can still read it.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Athelstan on August 29, 2018, 05:53:46 PM
Ian, Cedric
Many thanks for the suggestions. Will give it a go (targetting Dad/Granddad I think!)
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Athelstan on September 13, 2018, 09:14:30 AM
Does anyone have contact details for Dennis Owyang, who has written a couple of reference books on Chinese cards? They are difficult to get hold of, unsurprisingly.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Alan on September 13, 2018, 11:10:53 AM
I haven't checked but those books might be available via the Cartophilic Society Library.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Cedric1812 on September 14, 2018, 10:00:10 AM
There are definitely some by Dennis in the library. Joe Brannan can advise on what volumes are available:

Library@card-world.co.uk ? The librarian, Joe Brannan

Regards,
Sam
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: IanSammel on September 15, 2018, 08:24:23 AM
The first card looks like it might be from this series:
https://www.benham.co.uk/pd/Fine-Chinese-Cigarette-Card-Lot---Soong-Kiang-50_CXM0699.htm (https://www.benham.co.uk/pd/Fine-Chinese-Cigarette-Card-Lot---Soong-Kiang-50_CXM0699.htm)
which illustrates cards 1 - 4.  Your card has the number 11 top left.  (It's well camouflaged by the lines in the woodwork but I found it eventually).  If so they are "Soong Kiang", whatever that is.  Just a guess but it's somewhere to start.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Athelstan on September 16, 2018, 11:51:02 PM
Ian - that's great! Many thanks! A search under "Soong Kiang" turned up some more auction images, which referred to BAT so perhaps they're in the BAT reference book. Will track it down.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Cedric1812 on September 18, 2018, 01:24:25 PM
I know Dennis did a specific BAT volume (think it's number 3) as I have number 4 and he refers to the previous work being BAT! Sadly the one I have only covers Chinese Sundry backs but if you ever get a non-BAT Chinese back just shout and I may be able to find it in there for you.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: IanSammel on September 19, 2018, 08:58:13 AM
I wondered whether a machine translation of the back might be possible.  When I checked, the Google translate app on my phone has an option to point the camera at text and it does an instant translation.  I tried it with the second card but couldn't get much sense out of it.  The translated text changes as the image moves (I can't hold the camera completely steady).  All I could get that looked sensible was "Xiang old man".  Does that sound possible?  I think most of the back is just the story related to the pictures. It seems to relate to a "poor gatekeeper because he lived in the city".  Perhaps there is a possibility of giving it a file as input rather than having to point the phone camera at the text.  Maybe someone here has the time and ability to play around with it.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: IanSammel on September 19, 2018, 09:29:08 AM
Here's another attempt courtesy of www.newocr.com (http://www.newocr.com):

The story of the hills
"Kindly old man"
The old man who has a 'bundle curtain' is 隹 隹 隹 琥 琥 琥 琥 琥 琥 琥 琥 琥 琥 琥
I also have a dream. Debbie will have a bunch of servants to do a silk back
When I left the city, I went to Yulin and married a squatting house. Hung up
The ruthlessness of the mountain grove is the 晞甫 晞甫 晞甫 晞甫 蟌

Oh well, it's a start.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Athelstan on September 25, 2018, 06:57:45 PM
I did the same as Ian and got a similar mix of text and gibberish, but no company name.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: IanSammel on September 30, 2018, 06:18:11 PM
I couldn't find a recognizable company name either.  However the series title is possibly something like "The story of the hills" or "The story of the mountain" which could narrow it down a bit.  OCR programs work better with high-contrast, high-resolution images.  Maybe a better scan would improve the OCR.
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Cedric1812 on October 02, 2018, 08:06:03 AM
Hi guys,

I asked a collector I know who specialises in Chinese cards (his knowledge on this subject is astounding and I am trying to learn as much as I can but it's not easy!). Pretty much instantly he told me that both cards are BAT issues. The first is from ZEN3-42 Sundry back 14 Song Jiang set of 50. The second is from a fairly common set of Fables & Short Stories. Sundry back 8 ZEN3-30 set of 100.

So there we are! If only Dennis' books were a little easier to get hold of but I suppose there aren't many collectors going after the early Chinese issues.

Thanks,
Sam
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Athelstan on October 04, 2018, 10:44:20 AM
 ..
Title: Re: Chinese cards - can anyone identify?
Post by: Athelstan on October 04, 2018, 10:46:38 AM
Sam - that's great! Many thanks!
Now all I have to do is find the rest of the sets.......