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Nintendo “Ukiyo-E” Playing Cards, Sanyo Enterprise Co. Publ., c.1960
One of the most elegant and beautiful of the Ukiyo-E decks, made by Nintendo c.1960 for Sanyo Enterprise Co., with a custom box and a string pull. More recent decks can be vulgar, but the images on these cards are lovely and restrained. The cards are accompanied by a paper insert that gives a very brief history of Ukiyo-E. I believe that the images on the cards are of national treasures of popular art kept at the Tokyo National Museum at Ueno Park.
The deck has 52 cards, plus 2 Jokers. The Jokers are a little unusual. One is a black and white photo of a pagoda. The other is a Hannya mask – a laughing mask with horns used in Noh theater. The cards are wide, measuring 86mm x 62mm, and they come in a very lovely custom box.
The cards and box are in excellent condition, “as new” or very nearly so. The paper insert is also in excellent condition, but there are several round spots at intervals that I think are related to the location of the paper in the box when manufactured.
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