Monday, June 19, 2023

Topsy Western Jokers

 In the 1930s, the Western Publishing Company's standard joker was this vertically symmetrical joker of a pair of jesters chasing each other.  Notice that this one has the name and address of the publisher at the bottom. I think of this joker as Jesters chasing their tails in a circle.

Strictly speaking, it is not symmetrical since one side of the joker has the publishing info.  Magicians will be particularly sensitive to this detail....

This next variation has a lighter yellow color and their bottoms are blue (not black like above).

This variation's most obvious feature is the white dots on their bottoms and the fact that is is printed only with yellow and black.

This one is very different in that bottoms are white, He's also printed with only black and yellow and I note that the yellow is a different tint than above.
This variation is much like the first one but with a different message at the bottom.

Here are the ensemble shots of Western Topsy jokers. This first page has different variations, some of the differences are a little subtle relating to the font of the publishers name.   To avoid moving too many around whenever I get a new one, I left some blanks on these pages.  

Here is the back of those first eight. Also, before we leave this discussion of the major variations of these jokers, I note that the World of Playing Cards website lists 12 major variations of this joker.  They call it "WWPCM01492 "Western PCC" (USA) standard joker since 1930"

The next three pages of Western Topsy jokers all have the name and number of the deck printed on the front on the bottom. Then they have numbers and names. For instance, there is No. 147 Sugar and Spice. The name refers to the back of the deck.

 The lowest number deck I have is  No. 28, Sitting Pretty, the highest is No. 1901 Frou-Frou.  I have them in order of their publishing number. Somewhere someone might have a full listing of all the ones published including how many were printed of each copy. If you have that master control sheet, please tell me (you can comment here or email me: johnedelson13 at gmail.   Again, I have left some spaces on the pages so I can new ones as I find them without having to move so many around.

The backs are great, especially matched with their descriptions (remember that since these are the backs of the pages, they are flipped):
29    Sitting Pretty
36    "Hello" sic
65     Reflections
66    Canasta
84     Mill Stream - Large print
101    Invisible

You should now look at other topsy turvy or full duplex jokers. In my organization "Two headedness"  takes precedence over other criteria for organization so this two headed section is large and its subsections vaguely mirrors the entire organization.
    1. Animals - 
    2. Card Themed  
    3. Musician  
    4. Ladies & Masks  
    5. Jesters and clowns  (The Western Topsy Subsection, this one!, is subset of Jesters & Clowns)
    6. People  (not clowns, harlequins, or jesters)
    7. Things  

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Thanks for your input and for reading and thinking about jokers.