Saturday, June 26, 2021

Adobe Playing Cards 1988

Adobe Systems published a deck in1988 to show off the power of Postscript and Display Postscript. One of the  jokers made it onto the poster created byThe United States Playing Card Company Playing Card Museum in 1991.

Because this deck is a collectors item, I keep the jokers with the deck. I’ll put a photocopy of these jokers in my collection. Where? They’ll go in the garage art section, digital subsection. 

art section, digital subsection. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Buying Old Jokers Requires Buying Old Decks

As part of collecting old American jokers, I  sometimes buy old decks. For the ones a hundred years old or more, I keep the joker with the deck and put a photocopy in my albums. 

 I'm now starting to organize and track my old decks more systematically, here’s a quick list of what I have at this point in time...

Congress Jokers from 1899 - 1905
Perfection - Jolly Joker c1895
Tourists by Russell & Morgan c1896. Value: $500-$600
The Wild Frontier - 1914 - The Picket deck, USPC
Banco de Industria y Comercia- La Cubano. Turipan Mexico - date to be identified
Pam American Buffalo Exposition - 1901 Exposition Card Co
Brownies Deck - Kalamazoo / National Playing Card Company. Unknown date.
Success Deck #28 - Kalamazoo c1906. 
Carnival Cards -  1925.  These are the most beautiful!!!!
Waldorf Welcoming Lady - The Brothel Deck.
Valor Playing Cards - Bay State Playing Card Co - date to be identified
US19 Trophy Whist #39  - USPC 1895
Old English Curve Cut Pipe Tobacco
Page Dairy Co. Advertising Playing Cards. Circa 1910s.
Plus two very old decks that I'd sell or trade. And my modern reproductions of old decks.

My collection of old decks greatly increased in the spring summer of 2023 with two purchases from Potter and Potter. One is my 1920s advertising decks, (Lewando was one of my favorites), the other is 19 Congress Decks from around 1900. Check them out. 

Perfection! This is my favorite! I wanted this Perfection joker as part of trying to collect all the jokers on the Card Museum Joker Poster (Row 5, Column B). The Joker Poster Key has it listed as the Hartford Safety Bike. Perfection Playing Card Co. c 1895. I don't fully grok that in that the one that I have has no advertising on it and a standard geometric back. Hoffman on 118 has it listed at the Tip-Top #350 PU2 (more on this below).
This deck is listed in Hochmans's  PU2 Top-Top #350, page 118. Philadelphia, c 1887. And I quote: The cards in this deck look slightly later than PU1. It came with at least three different Jokers. We have found several Perfection decks in special boxes for R. H. Stearns & Co., Engravers and Stationers, Boston, with the Perfection brand name and number on the ends of the boxes.

Russell Tourist Deck. I bought this one for $430 from Jason, Dec 2022. I have the entire deck including one joker and the original box. It is copyright 1886: Russell & Morgan Pt'g Co (sic). How's this for a charming joker, what do you make of that facial hair? He is in the animal / horse subsection.

 The Tourists deck is on P91 of Hoffman, US9 Tourists #155.  "`Tourists were graded between Tigers and Sportsmans. Quoting from an 1887 advertisement, "They are a happy medium between unenameled cards (Tigers and Steamboats) and enameled cards (from Bicycles upward), having the finish of the former and the same style back as the latter. Each pack is in a neat truck box.'" Here's the ace of spaces.

Here's the picture on the box

The back of the cards

The Wild Frontier by Russell. I like this Frontier joker and Picket deck by USPC despite how worn and ratty it is. He's 1914 US30a Picket #515 on page 101 of Hochman. 

Banco de Industria y Comercia, S.A.. Dept de Amorro, est 1872.  La Cubano. Turipan Mexico. Year unknown

Pam American Buffalo Exposition - 1901. It seems a card company was set up, The Pan American  Exposition Playing Card Co at 458 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY. I bought this gold edged deck on Ebay for $109 in maybe 2021. The back is particularly lovel. Hoffman P250, SX18. "The backs feature a relif map of North and South America joining hands. The faces have a different oval phot scene of the exposition on each card".

 Brownies.  This deck is thrilling, it's named after the Palmer Cox Brownies who are often featured on jokers. If you don't know about the Brownies, take a few minutes and learn about them. They were very popular little characters whose name lives on this in the third millennium as the Brownies (young girl scouts) and as the name of the fondly remembered easy to use Brownie Camera.  The deck is by the American Playing Card Co of Kalamazoo MI which was eventually part of the National Card Playing Company also of Kalamazoo Hochman P42 L76 #35. Other Brownie decks from Kalamazoo cards from National Playing Card Company on P 112-114.

 Here’s a link to my collection of  decks with these three imps or brownies.

Kalamazoo Success Deck, #28 c1906.  I bought a 1906 Kalamazoo deck in the April auction by 52 Plus Jokers (I created a new money jokers subsection for him). (I paid $100 plus shipping). He's Hoffman P129, RU12 Kalamazoo. I paid $100 plus shipping.

Here's the case of the Kalamazoo deck:

And a close-up of the description on the box.

Kalamazoo Steamboat 7-11 Cards.  c1910. In Sept 2021, I bought a used Streamboat 7-11 deck for $51 on Ebay.  The deck has definitely been used. Been used a lot. I sure wish the deck could tell me who bought it new, who played it with it, and who stored it but of course, walls and decks of cards cannot talk.  I can try to imagine but it's just my imagination.  The deck was published just at the time when the Russell and Kalamazoo merged. The deck is RU13 Kalamazoo, Hochman P129. 


Carnival Cards -  1925. Totally gorgeous! Another deck bought at 52 Plus Joker April 2023 Auction for $140. It's a gold-edged Carnival Deck. Hochman says: "N11 CARNIVAL CARDS. The Carnival Playing Card Co,. New Orleans, 1925. Copyright by Harry D. Wallace, New Orleans. The Ace of Spaces reads Mardi Gras. The court cards are artistic with each of the four suits representing a different Mardi Gras figure. Spades feature Proteus, a sea God, who had the power to change his form at will. Hearts represent Comus, the God of festivity. Clubs are Momus, the God of mockery. Diamonds are Rex, the King of the Mardi Gras. This deck was reissued in 1981 by the Historic New Orleans Collection with this information clearly printed on the Ace of Spades."

Notice the beautiful gold guilded edges. Or is it gilt edges? 

Waldorf Welcoming Lady - The Brothel Deck. This next deck is Waldorf #240. A Dougherty, NY c1909. It is known as the Brothel Deck. I feel based on the back that this might be jumping to conclusions. Might she not be a hostess at a regular club or even at a private home?  What does everyone else see in this picture that I miss?

I bought the deck as part of getting my hands on that joker who on the poster is in the first row almost on the far right.  (Hoffman lists P79 AD47 Waldorf #230, c1915)

Valor Playing Cards S25 - Bay State Playing Card Co - date to be identified

US19 Trophy Whist #39  - USPC 1895 -  P98 Hochman  Is this it?  

Potter and Potter Auction

Here are the decks that I bought from  the Coin Up Auction, May 29 2021 from a Potter and Potter Auction.  (note that I'm using their quality photos instead of my own). The auction was

Old English Curve Cut Pipe Tobacco (52 + J + EC + OB), gilt edges, near fine. – Manikins Cigars (52 + J), coupon slip laid in, good/very good, box worn. Lot 343 for $80. Year?  This is the first of two old English Tobacco Advertising Decks.

Page Dairy Co. Advertising Playing Cards. Circa 1910s. 48 (complete) + J + EC + OB. Advertising pinochle deck for the Toledo-based dairy. Advertising joker (“Kleen-Maid” Ice Cream), box, AS, and backs; extra card depicts company buildings across Ohio. Deck with some wear from handling; box rubbed and skinned.

 E.C. Atkins Saws Advertising Playing Cards.
Circa 1920s. 52 + J + EC + OB. Advertising deck for the Indianapolis based saw company. Cartoonish advertising illustration on joker with rhyming slogan; advertising on extra card, backs, AS, and box. Gilt edges (rubbed on higher/euchre cards). Old writing on EC. Generally very good. Lot 372 bought for $100. (Ronald Kruijmel posted about a similar on 5-9-2023)

<where's the picture?>

I have some Old American Decks to Trade (or sell)!

I initially thought that I generally wanted some old American decks but it turns out, I don’t much like the decks if they don’t have  jokers in them. Below are two here that I’d like to trade away. I'm looking either for old American decks with jokers or more specifically, for any of the decks with jokers that I don't yet have from the Joker Poster. 

This first one is a Hart deck bought from Phil Bollhagen in 2020. It's Samuel Hart NY 41 in Hochman c1875.  c. 1855.  Hochman P55. Good condition 51/52.  (missing the 6 of spades)  Single-ended courts used in Faro decks.  No joker issued as faro decks (gamblers) did not use a joker. It’s  in the original playing card case.  Hochman's values--  $400-$250-$175.  it's quite rare. The purchase sale price was $250


Another deck with no joker that I’d like to trade away. It’s also a USPC Picket deck with an original case. He looks to me like US30 Picket3515 on P101 of Hochman.

Reproductions of Old Decks - The actually old decks above  are not not to be confused with these modern reproductions  below of the old decks, of which I have a number. They are mostly self explanatory.

Five Reproductions of Old Decks

More pictures of repro decks that I have, these I like, and am keeping!

Thanks for visiting. Want to see more jokers?  This site has many thousands of them. Also, there's sections that are organized by publishers although I'm primarily a thematically visual collector. Here's a series of articles looking at my older American jokers (all of which need work):

Money Bag Jokers

These jokers, recently recognized as a separate section within the jokers with weapons section, are published by Piatnik of Vienna.  But that's all I know.

This first one is holding his money bag up high, he had a card (ace of hearts) in his other hand, and his sword is sheathed.  Note the nice mustache, boots, hat, and face.  We don't know how much money he has. There are also jokers like this with 1000 on the money bag (I don’t have any of them) and 1,000,000 on them (I have one of them).

This money bag joker has two bags of a thousand each. His sword is smaller, it's really more of a dagger. He is also a Jolly Joker.  He has a fancy feather stuck in his hat. His hat and breeches are of a matching gold color.

This money bag joker has the coins spilling out of his bag. We can see three cards in his other hand. His sword is also in its sheath.  His clothese couldn't be more fancy. He differs from a number like him by either the indices in the corner (red stars in this case), the background behind the guy, and the colors of his pants, shirt, hair, and hat. Some are a little subtle.

It is unlikely that this is also by Piatnik although it pays homage to them without being a rip-off (in my opinion). 

Here’s the ensemble shots of these jokers. As of this writing, 6/2021, there are 24 money bag jokers.

money bag jokers with swords

A note on organization of the collection. The money bag jokers are a subsection of the jokers with weapons section. This fighter section has not been updated online. Also, it has grown way too large with  so I need to keep break it up. Splitting out the money bag is a first step. Further steps to breaking it up: perhaps distinguishing between jokers with guns versus jokers with older weapons. Other ideas?

Here’s six moneybaggers that are dancing (with no wands). They’re in the dancing section because what they are doing is more important than what they’re holding. 

Money bags as a theme? There's also a  set of jokers in the Americana People Joker section  in a new money joker section (take a look!) which relates to a different type of money bag types, should they be here?

And their backs:
Want to see more jokers: