In Asian cultures, the octagon or "ba-gua" shape has been considered auspicious for centuries. Its eight equal sides represent life in perfect harmony. Therefore, to keep something important locked in a ba-gua shaped box is deemed a prudent thing to do. A thick layer of hand finished leather covers this handsome opium box. Brass hardware with a gold dragon design on the lid makes this an especially great looking box. An optional old Chinese slip pin lock gives it its ancient look.
Playing Cards undoubtedly originated in China. Stuart Culin, the American games historian, did the most original research in this area and he concluded that they appeared before 1200AD in that country and were introduced to Europe in the 13th century.
In China, Octagon Wooden cases were used for storing the playing cards.
The original Chinese cards appear to have been related to the Chinese paper money of the time. In fact it seems likely that people created the cards by copying paper money and then both played with and for these cards! A pack of Chinese cards were not at all like European cards of today. In appearance, although made of flexible card