Many jokers have designs, not jesters or people or scenery. These first two examples are from the era of the creation of the joker. In the 1800s in the US for playing euchre, a card called the Best Bower was added to the deck. It evolved into the joker...
Jokers are often part of the publishers trade mark. Trade marks, btw, are meant to protect the public from being duped by easily confused branding. It's different in its origin from a copyright which descends from the concept of property ownership, even for intellectual property which people can have the exclusive right to make copies of.
Here’s a 1930s USPCC narrow deck.
Here are the ensemble shots: this first one features more historic jokers.
This page is themed around companies that make cards.
This is primarily geography (but not exclusively since Florsheim is a shoe, not a place).
This page has connecting themes. There’s the Harley Davidson cards, some of which have eagles so the bird theme is there too. One Harley joker has a sort of Joker coat of arms on it which is a theme continued on this page and others. The top right and left ones might have historical significance.
Here are more shields or coat of arms designs. I think the Sovereign ones rate as historical, I need to check.
This page continues the coat of arm design theme the with bottom three. There’s a unifying round theme on the other six. The middle three are about railroads.
The emphasis on this page is round designs building on the round theme introduced just above.
This page has two more round ones. Then eclectic.
Some more shields, could be positioned closer to the others with shields.
Stars, lucky or otherwise. Some abstracty stars and some bling.
Top left and right are about Ron Hubbard. This site is NOT a front for Scientology! There are five different extra jokers here. Probably more elsewhere.
Want to see some Animal Jokers?
- Cats or Dogs
- Flyers: Bees, Birds, Owls, Dragons etc
- Horses , zebras, donkeys ...
- Monkeys, bears, and others with paws
- Animals with antlers, horns, and tusks
- Reptiles, amphibians, sea creatures
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Thanks for your input.