Monday, September 18, 2017

Animal Jokers: Flyers: Bees, Birds, Owls

In my joker collection, there is a large animal section which has subdivision such as equestrians, canine, feline, and flyers.  This article is about the flying jokers, there are 46 (updated 2/24/18).

Mostly birds, some insects, a butterfly or two, and some dinosaurs.  Yes, some of the birds, such as the penguins, are flightless. I don't have a swimming or sliding section for the penguins so they go with the flyers.

One of my long time favorites is the Bee Joker which I think was initially produced by Lewis Cohen and the New York Consolidated Card Company as part of the Bee 92 deck. It's a brand still published by the US Card Playing Company.   You can read the US Playing Card History of the NY Consolidated Card Company  The Bee Joker has a large bumble bee being ridden by a standing baby, dressed as a jester and holding a jester's wand or bauble.

Bee Joker by New York Consolidated Card Co.
Bee Joker by New York Consolidated Card Co.

The Bee deck with the diagonal lines on the back (pictured below) was a favorite of many magicians and gamblers because the back enabled dealing seconds or from the bottom of the deck.  

Back of Bee Decks
This peacock joker was one my early finds.  I remember buying it in the mid 1970s during a summer road trip up through New England. I bought it from an old barn in I think Vermont or New Hampshire.  Gorgeous, isn't it? I don't know if I've ever seen a second one like it.

Peacock Joker, Rare
 Peacock Joker, Rare
This rooster joker is another of my old favorites. I'm not sure of its origins, I suspect it is French since they have a thing for roosters.

Rooster Joker
Rooster Jokers
The following two jokers are from the Fable III deck. These cards were created as part of the launch of the Fable III video game on the Microsoft Xbox in October 2010. The game was developed by Lionheads Studio led by Peter Molyneux. (This is long past my own involvement in creating video games which was in the 1990s but I did meet Peter way back when in his Magic Carpet and themed god-games phase).  

Fable III Joker
Fable III Joker 

The following joker was the featured Joker of the Month in November 2010 on the  DXPO Playing Card website. This card and joker collection was started in 1996 and has been online since 2004. It's run by Miriam van Houten (more oriented towards jokers)  and Joop Muller (more oriented towards decks of cards) from  Zaandijk, a small town in the western part of the Netherlands.  I find their website remarkable in the depth of research and insight associated with each joker.  And I quote:

This almost surreal joker comes from the Fable III deck, which was included in the "Limited Edition" of the Fable III game for the Xbox 360.
  Joker from Fable III Deck (Xbox 360 game
Joker from Fable III Deck (Xbox 360 game)

Owl Joker
Owl Joker

The parrot joker is one of my two Butterfield-designed parrot jokers.

Here's a summary of the flying jokers in their  pages of nine jokers. 

Notice in the first one that there are five variations of the Bee Joker. They all have the diagonal back.  One is from the New York Consolidated Card Company.  Another is from Consolidated-Dougherty, Division of The United States Playing Card Company,  There are three from the United States Playing Card Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45212. BTW, as far as I know, this design was licensed: this is just the sequence of ownership with one company buying the other sort of pacman-style.

 BTW, I count the jokers as different when there are distinct differences in design such as the name or corner elements or size of the design elements. If the only difference between cards is that one is bridge size and one is poker, I count them as duplicates, not as different.

A Peacock Joker, Variations on Bee Joker, etc

Another nine flying playing card jokers. Two are animated stork jokers. Two are eagle designs, marked Polska (Poland). One is fine shot of a Baltimore Oriole.  Two cardinals, a bird with a worm, and may a vulture in the top left hand corner? What a collection! Counting the owl joker which is on another page, there are 28 different flying joker playing cards as of today.

1 comment:

  1. I'm researching other joker collections, these are my notes:


Thanks for your input.