Monday, October 31, 2022

Matejko Painting of Sad Jester: Stańczyk

 The joker below is based on a famous enigmatic painting by Jan Matejko in 1862. A copy of the painting is shown below. In the painting there is a distraught brooding court jester who contrasts dramatically with his character and the festive court ball visible in the background.

The painting is about a specific court jester and moment in history. Stańczyk is the jester and the year is 1533 (OK, there's some debate if the jester is mythical or historical and the date seems to be also up for discussion). 

On the table lies a letter likely announcing that Poland has lost Smolensk (now in Russia) to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy, causing Stańczyk's sorrow and reflection on his fatherland's fate. The letter seems to have been discarded by some official, and only the jester realizes its significance – while the rulers are partying...(Source: Wikipedia)
A Brooding Court Jester by Jan Matejko
A Brooding Court Jester by Jan Matejko

And thanks to Ronald Kruijmel of the FB Joker Collectors Club for first cluing me in to the origins of this joker.
I believe all of these are derivatives of that painting but I could be wrong. Perhaps they are all just using a common "look" for a jester unrelated to the painting. Opinions?

 And here are their backs...


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Skull Head Mystical Jokers

 My scary section - the mystical jokers - has grown and split. This article announces a newly created subsection: Skulls! HEADS only. Like this Mexican (Anyone know if this joker is really Mexican?) beauty.


I think this jester skull has more of a North-of-the-border American look...

Here's the inventory of all of the skull (and unattached limbs!) section.

Here's not a skull, but another unattached body part: An arm!  I think it's a Dead Man's Hand. In poker, the term dead man's hand goes back into the mid 1800s. The term has also been linked to the poker hand held by Wild Bill Hitchcock when he was shot during a game in 1876. Reportedly, he had the ace of spades, the ace of clubs, two black eights, and the queen of clubs. Generally the term "dead man's hand" is used for a two-pair in poker consisting of the black aces and black eights.

Here's another set of nine. I wonder if that arm could be hooked up with one of the others that seems to be so deficient in limbs

The most recent mystical or scary section is still online and includes the skulls (only for the moment, I do intend to remove the skulls from the overall mystical section).. The others are made up of  demonic characters, pirates, skeletons, and some things in the middle.

Other organizations might be possible. Ideas?

Saturday, October 15, 2022

My Favorite Jokers

What are your favorite jokers? I get this question often: 

I don't have a simple answer but here's some jokers that I like a lot.  This first three are long standing favorites.

 Here are some of my favorite jokers, a selection made in 2016. The peacock joker is incredibly beautiful. And the jokers in the bottom left... well, I designed them.


This joker features the sea god himself: Poseidon crossing the sea astride a whale. It is from the NY Consolidated Card Co. The first version of this was published in 1891.It is in the travel section, vehicle subsection, sea vessels subsubsection.

NY Consolidated Poseidon Whale Joker

For some reason, I strongly like some of the Alice in Wonderland jokers.

 It's a hard question which I don't have a final answer for. But take a look at my monkey jokers!