This is one of a series of articles looking at my older American jokers:
Some of the materials for this are collected below but this project is iterative (OK, chaotic) with me first looking for old looking jokers and then going to the sources to identify them.
I have no idea why this rabbit is coming out of an egg. And I can't imagine what the little mystical folk behind him are doing with the acorn on a stick. If you know what's going on here, please tell me! Cracking open the egg? Fighting off the pesky rabbit?
This joker started at the National Card Co, Aladdin deck but of course, became a USPCC brand. P110.
I corresponded with Lee Asher of 52+Jokers about this joker. He said: "This is a National Card Co Aladdin brand. The back design is called a Dome Back. They were made by National from 1885 to around 1902. Then once USPCC acquired National, they ran this Joker from about 1902-1910. I believe there was a reprint in 2011. However, without the Ace of Spades or box (to see a stamp) it's going to be hard to narrow down to a single date. I don't think the numbers on the Joker are the same as the AOS. I could be wrong. For now, you have a 25 year range 1885-1910."
This round-faced instructor is leaning on his musket while instructing his dog. I think of him a seated school teacher talker. Hochman on P111, says it was first published by the National Card Company in 1885 or 1890. It's NU7 Rambler #22, or 7a.
National intrroduced the dancing Brownies on their jokers as early as 1890. The Brownies dancing. P 112-114 had stars, not joker in indices
This joker of the three Brownies playing cards was initially published by the National Card Company in 1896. The 1896 version had a star inside of a circle in the corners. Also, the 1896 Joker has "The National Card Company" where mine says "Five Hundred". Mine has the interlocked US in the corner which pushes its publication to after the USPC acquistion, a substitution made in 1910. Also, the #13 was added in 1925. Brad Starnes says: I would date your deck to 1927. Also, looking at your Ace of Spades, it says Russell & Morgan which also points to 1927.
The Pyramid Playing Card Company existed as an independent company from 1920-28. Appropriately to their name, they push a Sphinx and Pyramid on their jokers. PY1 Winner, first published in 1920
From here on down are an assembly of old jokers that I have not yet properly categorized or organized. Help appreciated.
This Monkey Joker is among my favorites but his date of publication is a mystery to me. The character was first in soap advertising in 1880s. He's in the monkey section.
I haven't yet identified this joker. It's possible that he is not historic. He is the card performing section of the collection.
This is much sorting and research for me to do: any and all help and advice appreciated.
Here's the jokers that we review above from the National Card Company (with the Hochman page #).
- Rabbit egg P110
- Seated p111
- Brownies dancing P112 & 114
- Brownies playing cards P113
- pyramid P121