Sunday, March 4, 2018

Mystical and Devilish Jokers

 I have nearly 30 jokers that I classify as mystical or devilish. They give me the heebie jeebies.  I try to treat them with respect and to not offend them since I fear their evil characters and powers.

Speaking of thrillingly lovely terrifying jokers ...  Sweet Dreams!



Here's some close-ups of the devil or death cards.


The next joker is one of the most beautiful and artistically significant jokers in the collection. It is of a dybbuk and designed by the great artist of 1930s-50s, Arthur Szyk. I have an entire article about Arthur Szyk and his card designs on this site.

This one interesting, is also involved with Jewish mysticism. Per a comment by Ali Jerremalm in a Facebook discussion about these demon and devil jokers, this deck is: Jacob’s Bible cards printed by Piatnik for Israel company (”Made in Israel”;-))"  

Given that info with the company name, I googled and found this on the WOPC.co.uk site: "Jacob’s Bible Cards designed by Ze'ev Raban (1890-1970) in which the court cards and jokers represent personages from the Bible (old testament or history of the Jewish race). The numeral cards are not decorated. Ashmodai was made into the Joker, with the Hebrew inscription letz ( לֵץ ) which means jester."

Jacobs Bible Cards Joker
Jacobs Bible Cards Joker

And here is a picture of the back of the Jacobs Bible Cards.







Here is the back of the demon with wings joker.





This next joker is I think a play on the poker concept of a Dead Man's Hand. In poker, the term dead man's hand goes back into the mid 1800s. The term has also been linked to the poker card held by Wild Bill Hitchcock when he was shot in 1876. Reportedly, he had the ace of spades, the ace of clubs, two black eights, and the queen of clubs. Generally the term "dead mans hand is used for a two-pair poker consisting of the black aces and black eights.
Dead Man's Hand
Dead Man's Hand