These jokers are people, American people, symbolic people like Uncle Sam; specific historical Americans like Washington, Tilden, and Cooper, and generic types that have not yet been separated out into their own sections. There are some closely related sections such as American Historical Figures (this article), Modern American Politicans, Cowboys, Native Americans. American travel jokers (which have American sites but not people), and entertainers like Elvis, film people, musicians, or Sports Figures.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Saturday, December 26, 2020
These jokers are ones that I've collected and which are Chinese. They are not fully curated. There are 12 pages of nin ejokers. which one has two gaps.
To see some related jokers from the travel section:
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
I'm primarily a thematic collector sorting jokers into categories like sports, politics, or dancing jesters. I'm now getting more interested in the publishing history of these jokers so I'm trying to identify all the ones that are now hanging in my living room. Suggestions, Corrections, or other Help Appreciated. You can use the comments. Thanks to TVB, CT, and others.
1A - First row, first column. The one in the top left. Funny Joker is published by Cambissa & Co., Italy since 1956 (Per Tom van Berkum). I have 4 variations in the Jester Walking section of the collection.
1B (next one to his right). I call this joker the Hamburgler because of a slight resemblance to a character in an old series of McDonalds ads. He comes from China and is used in Japan. I have him in the jester dancing section. I can't seem, as is often the case with Chinese jokers, to find the publisher or history.
1E. Top right corner. The peeping tom with binoculars on the crescent moon is in the sitting section. He first appeared in the 1960s on souvenir decks made in Japan perhaps by DNP, Dai Nippon Printing Card Company.
2A & 2E. Playing the Bells and Banjo-like instrument. There's also a drummer and a clarinest in this series. He's in the percussion musical joker section. He's the Coeur brand from East Germany (thanks Tom VB for steering me). It was set up after WWII in Altenburg. The joker first appeared in 1947. Post Cold War, Coeur and the company, "VEB Altenburger Spielkarten" were bought by F.X.Schmid (Munich) and more recently by "Ravensburger Games" (source: GuntherAnderson)
2B. Beeboy! I have examples of Beeboy in my Flyers section that go back to the 1800s when he was published by the New York Consolidated Card Company, then by Consolidated Dougherty, and most recently, as in this example, by the US Playing Card Company.
2D. Bicycle Joker. The Bicycle joker dates back to the 1800s with few changes. The Bicycle brand was one of the founding brands of the US Playing Card Company. There are dozens of variations in the bicycle section.
2E. Strumming a banjo or some stringed instrument. See 2A above to hear about his East German heritage. He's in the strings section. Now that I've confirmed that he's partners with 2A and others: I should move him to the Musical Ensemble section.
3A. Truco. Tricky in English. He is a Spanish Fournier standard factory joker, very popular. He's in the performing with cards section since he seems to be slipping card out of his sleeve.
3C. The puppeteer card king with the king and queen as marionettes. This is a New York Consolidated Card Company Joker, one of my favorites.NY65 Bee French Whist #69. Hochman P 63. He is the jesters section, subsection performing with cards. I think he's marvelous. That's why I put him in the middle.
3E. Shrugger is in the Performers with cards section. I have three variations and some duplicates. He is a British joker, created by Alf Cooke in Leeds in the 1920s in black and white. Corporations doing what they do, he seems to have become part of Universal Playing Card Company Limited and then, via Amalgamated Playing Card Company Ltd, part of Waddingtons. It's described on the World of Playing Cards. He is in the top left of the joker poster listed as Universal Playing Card Co., London, c 1940.
4A Walker performing with cards and with a jesters wand. Belgian made (It says so on the joker). I have at least seven variations and since one of them has Amstel on the back, I'm wondering if these are also by Léonard Biermans from Turnhout, Belgium.
4B This well-dressed The World Joker soldier is part of a British company (I think), he's published in British Hong Kong. He has a green jacket, red pants, a banner proclaiming The World Jokers, and a sword. He's in the jokers with swords section, one of many variations. World jokers appeared in the late 60s-70s through today on souvenir and custom decks made in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. It’s hard to pinpoint one maker.
4D Standard standing jester. I think of him as the most standard of jokers. He's a USPC joker, most often on Gladstone, Hamilton, and store brands on bridge decks from the 1930s through the 1980s. (thanks Chris Turner of 52Plus). Of course, he's in the Standard Jesters with Wand section.
4E Dancer. He's in the dancing section.
5A Modiano making the shared secret jester gesture. He's in the Heads with Hands but no wands section. Modiana. Trieste, Italy. c 1950
5E Half a Jester. Piatnik. Busts with hands holding a wand.
6A Hallmark dancing jester. I have five of these in the jesters dancing section.
6B. Topsy fat clowns. Or Pinwheel (Per Dan N.) Western Universal. I have four varieties in the topsy jester section. Pinwheel first appears in Hochman on P149: MSW 131b Golf. Midland Playing Card Co, Chicago 1920. The yellow and black in the middle of the middle row below was the original version. Pinwheel became the standard Western Playing Card jokers and reappears on P150 as MSW 136 Universal Playing Cards, Western Playing Cards.
6C Cross legged seated jester holding up a card. Printed in Vienna (Vien) by Ferd. Piatnik and Sohne. There's maybe a dozen of them in the jesters seated section, facing forward.
6D. Jesters chasing their tails in a circle. This two headed joker is the Standard Western Publishing joker. Printed on one side of the joker: "MADE IN U. S. A., W.P. CO., RACINE, WIS, No. 1876 Portraits". It was manufactured before the era of two letter state abbreviations. I think they were numbered sequentially in order of publication. "Portraits" probably refers to the name of that deck. The lowest number deck I have is "No. 28, Sitting Pretty", the highest is "No. 1901 Frou-Frou." I have over two dozen of them in my Topsy Jester section.
6E The seated juggler is a newer design from the 2000s, found in Chinese souvenir and custom decks. The sharp lines show it’s a current day digitally drawn image. He's reminiscent of the Chinese BirdMan joker and is the same section and subsection: Seater Jokers, Sitting Sidesways.
This article relates to the ones on:
Friday, December 18, 2020
As the joker collection mushrooms, categories fragment. Before, there was a vehicle section that covered trains, cars, planes, bicycles, unicycles, and skaters. Now, they are all separate categories! Skater jokers...
These jokers focus on the scientific and technology part of our world. It includes space!
Yes, that sounds weird having public service announcements being put on jokers. So what!
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Do I have these jokers? What do I know about them? Let's work our way through the Eight rows of this poster. I'll admit which ones I don't have - or brag about those that I do - and share what I know about the history of each joker and how many variations I have of them.
Click through to see the updated list of the 15 jokers that I’m still looking for. If you have any of them, even as part of a whole deck, I'm highly motivated...
Background: This poster was published by the Playing Card Museum in 1991. The museum was run by the The United States Playing Card Company. The fine print: "Poster Design Margery B. Griffith Photograph, color separations and printing: Stevenson Photo Color Company. Paper and preparation: The United States Playing Card Company. Copyright 1991." I would love to hear how they picked these 72 jokers. I'm particularly intrigued by the choice of a joker published by Adobe Systems which was still a very young company back then.
Here's my status on these jokers. November 2023, I have 15 left to find. The Perfection Joker 5B, Adobe joker 5E, Bengal Kalamazoo 3I were recent arrivals.
If anyone has these jokers that I’m missing for sale as singles or with a deck, I’m highly motivated.
1A. Universal Playing Card Co., London, c 1940. In my collection, he's in the Performers with cards section. I have three variations and some duplicates. He is a British joker, created by Alf Cooke in Leeds in the 1920s in black and white. Corporations doing what they do, he seems to have become part of Universal Playing Card Company Limited and then, via Amalgamated Playing Card Company Ltd, part of Waddingtons. It's described on the World of Playing Cards.
1B. He is in the American People section of my collection (which doesn't quite make sense) and is the source of much interest by me to figure out what myth he might relate to. I have maybe four variations of him. He was first published in 1895 by the Standard Playing Card Company based in St Louis and Chicago. He first appears as SU2 on P137 of Hochman. The key says FASTMAIL (sic), Standard Playing Card co, Chicago, c 1905.
1C. He is in the topsy jokers with clowns or jesters section. Two variations. Northbrook Playing Card Co., 1965.
1E. Head no hands section. I have him in two colors and with duplicates available. Virginia Slims, USPC for Philip Morris, 1984.
1G - Parachuting clown. In the clown section. A Special edition. USPC. c 1950.
1I Waldorf #240. A Dougherty, NY c1909. I bought him with the deck. I keep the joker, as I do with my most precious decks, with the deck and only have a photocopy in the joker albums. (I have an article about my oldest decks).
1G - This card playing guy is in the head and busts section, subsection with hands but NOT holding a wand. I have six variations. Special edition. USPC c 1950.
ROW 2jester head is on a stick so he's in that section of jester wands. Arrco Playing Card Co, Chicago, c 1975.
2H - Standing juggling joker that I do NOT have. Adking USA for Pacific Telephone Yellow Pages. c 1960.
3E - Smiling clown head. Chess Deck. Unknown. c 1900.
5E. I have the Adobe joker, published by Adobe Systems in 1988 to show off the power of Postscript and Display Postscript. Click for more info on Adobe Playing Cards.
7E - Need him
7G - He is the jokers with weapons section
7H - He's in the Topsy joker section, clowns and jesters subsection
updated list of the 18 jokers that I’m still looking for.