SERIES: Pictorial History of the Sports and Pastimes of All Nations
SCENES: Playing the "banjo"; playing chess; children playing with dolls and masks
SIZE: 3" x 5"
ARTIST: Not signed, but reportedly Frances Brundage
LITHOGRAPHER: Kaufman & Strauss
CONDITION: Fair to good, I'd say. This card is generally just a bit soiled, but it has a large brown stain which is only slightly visible on the front but highly noticeable on the back. The edges and corners slightly worn. There are a couple small creases at the top and bottom edges, and across the upper right corner. (Please see scans.)
MULTIPLE ITEM SHIPPING DISCOUNT: I will ship up to 4 cards for the single base shipping charge shown. For purchases of more than 4 cards, the shipping charge will increase by just a small increment for every 4 additional cards.
REVERSE TEXT: CHINA
CHINA has made less progress than any nation of the world. Yet she possesses a civilization peculiarly her own. Her people are a phlegmatic and meditative race, but not given to independent thought. They are also very superstitious.
It was more than 5,000 years ago, that chess was invented. It has always been the great chinese pastime. The legend of its origin is interesting. It was invented by a courtier to please the Emperor. His Royalty was so delighted with the game that he vouchsafed to the inventor whatever he might desire. "Sire," replied the latter, "all I ask that you give me is this. Place one grain of corn on the first square of the board, then double it sixty-four time, the number of squares there are." "Ho-ho, modest man," chuckled the Emperor, "is that all? 'Tis granted." But behold long before the end, it became apparent that the Empire would be bankrupted, and so the inventor was constrained to accept something more within reason.
The Chinese New Year is a great holiday, and celebrated as a Feast of Lanterns. These lanterns are made of many colored paper in which red predominates, and are sometimes larger than giant pumpkins. Strung up and lighted, they transform the darkness into fairy-land.
The Chinese are remarkably mild mannered, but it is a peculiarity of this strange race that they are little given to play, and that they discourage games, sports, pastimes and play of all kinds in their children. Nevertheless they manufacture the quaintest of dolls, and the most grotesque of masks with which the young Chinese mainly find their pastimes. Their ideas of music, according to our standard, are very crude. But they play with great skill on a stringed instrument much resembling the banjo.