Thursday, January 18, 2018

Congress Jokers

Congress Playing Cards were first produced by the Russell & Morgan Company in 1881. They were one of the four original brands produced by Russell & Morgan. The others were Tiger (101), Sportsman (202), Army and Navy (303 and 505),  and Congress (404 and 606).  In 1891, the company changed its name to the US Playing Card Company. (Source: Wikipedia Article on USPCC Jan 18, 2018)

These cards are from the original Congress decks with the Moon Fairy images.

This image is from the The World of Playing Cards website. All the other images are of my collection.

After the turn of the Century, the USPCC started producing jokers with the US Congress building on it. 

Pink Congress Joker
Pink Congress Joker

Monday, January 15, 2018

Masks Jokers

October 2018 - This article went up in January 2018 and while i usually just update the old articles, this time I'm obscoleting this one and sending people to the newly updated post with a video about masks and theatric jokers.

The following jokers are all theatrical, mostly masks. Do you have any theatrical or masked jokers?

Joker Masks
Joker Masks

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ads for Cigarettes, Liquor, Desserts

The next set of advertising jokers are for cigarettes and liquor with a few desserts thrown in at the end. But it starts with an advertisement for a fancy perfume. At least, I assume it's fancy.

Advertisements for the Casinos

The Las Vegas casinos all publish their own cards with their own jokers. I would have thought how important cards are to their business that they would have invested a little more in the designs.  The Luxor is one of my favorites from the casinos.

Luxor Casino Joker
Luxor Casino Joker

The Harolds Club joker at least has some color and an interesting theme.

These jokers are pretty nice, I particularly like the one with the monkey. And the girls.

Yikes, what's going on with my scanner in this next picture?  It's shmeered. I imagine I picked it up before it was finished scanning. Remind me to do it again if I forget.

The jokers below are duplicates. Want to trade?  Just put your contact info in a comment and then I'll get back to you (I won't let your comment be seen publicly so your email won't be published). For references, there's a top row and numbers 1, 2, and 3 in each row, except the top row which only has 1 and 2. Got it?

NOTE - In row 2, both joker 2 and 3 have holes in them punched by the casino.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Elvis Jokers

How many Elvis Presley jokers do I have in my collection. I have eleven of the King. 

The Elvis jokers are in the Real People section in the entertainer subsection.  Here they are. 

This last shot is of what my dining room table looks like when I'm sorting my jokers.
Joker Collecting
Joker Collecting

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Joker Collecting Aesthetics

The organization of jokers by category and subcategory is important to me.  By this I mean categories such as Animal Jokers which I have broken down into:

I have about eight three ring binders. Each binder has a number of sections in it with no particular organization about the binders...Yet!

My over-arching goal is to be able to look at a joker and know where it fits into the collection.  Also, I think it is more pleasant to leaf through pages of jokers which represent thematically consistent jokers so that people can appreciate the variations on a theme.

But even more important to me than the organization is the creation of aesthetically harmonious pages which fit into these categories.

This page of nine, for instance, from the travel section of the joker collection.  It is built around the ballooning travel theme and includes a number of thematically related spherical objects such as a globe personified as an airplane.  (A globe personified as an airplane? Who dreams these designs up? Is someone making a point about the whole human race being on a trip together?)    There's also a joker with the earth seen from the sky and one with an abstract spherical pattern.

Balloon and Globe Jokers
Balloon and Globe Jokers

From the joker bust and head shots section, I have assembled a full page of jokers which I call "Jokers on a Stick", a little like lollypops, popsicles, rattles, or perhaps, like severed heads on spikes.  Notice the little aesthetic touch on the middle row where the two on the outside are both facing inwards.  Also, there are three pairs which are variations on a theme which go down the outside columns.  BTW, I'm painfully aware that my photography and scanning are weak points that should be improved on.  It's just not much fun for me to sit around and scan jokers since the scanner remain painfully slow.

Joker Heads on Sticks
Joker Heads on Sticks

Jumping to another section of the collection, lets look in the cartoon section to a page which all about the Batman.  About a year ago, I had a page that had superheros and I had Batman on the same page with the Flash and Superman. But now, I've grown to where I can have a full page, actually more than a page, which is 100% derived from the Batman world. I find this very satisfying. I recently filled up an entire page with Elvis and another with.....

A few other notes on organization.

How fine a distinction do I want to call it a different joker? Does a tiny size or color difference matter?  What about the very fine print on a joker?   I'm conflicted on how many minor variations on a theme that I will show since it's really really boring to look at pages of jokers that appear identical. Right now, my working system is that I'll treat jokers as different if I can tell at a glance how they are different.