Sunday, March 19, 2023

Worlds Fairs and Exposition Jokers

 There are a number of jokers commemorating various Worlds Fairs or Expositions.  First, a little background on Worlds Fairs:  In 1851, under the title "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations", the World Expo was held in The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London, the United Kingdom. The Great Exhibition, as it is often called, was an idea of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's husband, and is usually considered to be the first international exhibition of manufactured products...The world expositions of 1851 London1853 New York1862 London1876 PhiladelphiaParis 18781888 Barcelona1889 Paris1891 Prague1893 Chicago1897 Brussels1900 Paris1904 St. Louis1915 San Francisco, and 1933–34 Chicago were notable in this respect (source: Wikipedia). 

Worlds Fairs were an important venue for education. Learning about the world and the state of the art in many areas became possible by touring the World  Fairs. These  were held over many months where products and information and technology and animals from around the world were brought together so people could marvel and learn. 

The first joker that I have from a worlds fair is from 1878.

The Paris Exposition of 1878 was a big one in terms of the world seeing American industry and technology for the first time. Among American successes was the printing technology for playing cards. The New York Playing Card company won a Gold Medal which they marketed the heck out of. Here's the joker.

This joker is from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition which was held in Buffalo New York. I'm not sure how it compares in magnitude or significance to the World Expositions.

And here's the back of the Pan-American Exposition Playing Cards of 1901.

This joker is from the 1904 St Louis World's Fair.

1904 World Fair Joker

Here's its back:

Monday, March 13, 2023

Bee Jokers

 This subsection has jokers with bees on them. It is a subsection of "The Birds and the Bees" which is part of the overall flyers section of jokers.  Other sections are the birds, the butterflies, and dragons The flying horses do arguable belong here but they were given a choice and they voted to bunk in the fantasy horse section with the centaurs, unicorns, and flying horses (Pegasuses!). 

Lets start with the most classic bee joker in the Centennial Edition version from 1992. Here it is, a historic and famous joker which features Bee Boy on it.

Digging into the history, here are three versions of the Bee Boy joker by three different publishers. The oldest one is on the far left. He is a NYCC60 Bee #92 c1895.  This card would probably have been printed sometime between when it was introduced in 1895 and before the acquisition of NYCC by USPC in 1930.  The joker on the far right would be after USPC merged NYCC and Dougherty into a single USPC division called Consolidated-Dougherty.  At some point, and I'd apreeciate someone telling me when, they were fully merged in to USPC and the name listed became USPCC like the middle joker below.  

This deck is copyright 2018, Penguin Magic. Designed by Randy Butterfield and manufactured by USPCC, now listed as in Erlanger KY.

This joker is from a modern USPC deck with the back and the name of the deck on the box displayed a little below. The deck is Karnival Hornets. It's made and published by USPC

Both these decks are manufactured by USPC.  Here's more information about them.

And here's some copyright information on the two decks mentioned above.

Here is the complete collection of jokers in the bee section.

Plus these two that are on a page of their own. 

What should you look at next? I'd suggest staying in the animal kingdom with these choices:

  1. Animal Jokers - Ensemble Animal combinations (cats AND dogs)
  2. Animals: Flyers - Bee Boy
    Animals: Flyers - Bee Boy
    1. Cats  or  Dogs Now there's a big cat subsection! 
    2. Flyers: Bees, Birds, OwlsButterflies  & Dragons 
    3. Horses , zebras, donkeys, giraffes ...
      1. Fantasy horses: centaurs, unicorns, pegasus
    4. Monkeys, bears, and others with paws 
    5. Animals with antlers, horns, and tusks
    6. Reptiles, amphibians, sea creatures

Friday, February 17, 2023

Sculptures and Statue Jokers

This section has joker playing cards which have a picture of a statue, sculpture, or other physical artifact on them.   I've just organized this section, trying to balance each page. 

Balance each page?  Yes, part of the aesthetics for me is to organize each page around a theme. Ideally, the themes are harmonious or coherent or at least, not an unholy mix. I also try to give the sequence of pages some logic.  Allow me to demonstrate...  

Ladies first? Or as they often say in a crisis when it's time to evacuate: Women and children first.  So, first a page of women. ♀♀♀♀

Of course, in the third row center, there is a man. But his joker is the match for the one in the top row in the middle so, as a pair, they belong on the same page. This is one of the  rules about organizing: don't split up a pair.

The next page is  the children. Imagine how pleased I am that I have nine of them! (And that I had about nine female statue sculptures).   😀 😀 😀 😀


Now, for the adult men sculptures. There are a lot of them. This page is not organized so much by epoch or type of sculpture, it's organized around full bodied men with a certain conquering attitude. It ranges widely from the Roman Emperors, Englishman such as Cromwell, and to the Inca Chiefs. But they all seem to me to have a common swagger.

This next page is all ancient Greek. Wrestling or otherwise very physical and athletic. Less specific people and more about characteristics.

 This next page is mostly primitive or folk art.

Walk like an Egyptian? Let's go way back to Ancient Egypt for two pages.

Shiny stuff, like artifacts, from the ancients. 

These men are full bodied, mostly medievil, mostly crusading, musically playing, or medically flying. And I can only find 8 so far that fit here.

These are ancient bulls and a hunter too. The themes are bovines, heads, and circles. 
Fortunately, the people were fertile and attracted to each other often enough in ways to keep the species going. We use to deify sex but today, we seem too puritan to show such public appreciation. There is also an old man in a chair watching. Good for him.

These folk figures seem to belong together despite their difference of geography and era.

This next set is an admission that finding order in sets of nine among diverse sculptures, statues, and artifacts... not always possible. At least not by me. At least not yet, but I'm still trying.

This last page of jokers continues the previous page's theme of miscellaneous. The top three are a set, the middle one has a statue so it's in the statue section. I am thinking of moving it to the American geography section where all three would fit.  The bottom left is a plaque which for me is a memorial like a sculpture. It's physical.  The associated joker in the pair is in the bottom right.

This beautiful and famous mermaid statue is in the mermaid joker section, not in the statues but I did want to mention it here. (There are also in the animals section, dog subsection, wolves/coyotes subsubsection, a pair of jokers with the statues of Romulus and Remus. I'll get pictures of them eventually. The rules for where jokers go when they could fit in different sections are outlined in the taxonomy article).

This article was about jokers with pictures of statues, they are part of the artsy section.  The related sections to perhaps visit next: 

  1. Beautiful art jokers, classic, digital, and  flowers, fruit, mermaids
  2. Card-themed Jokers (YES, this is intentional) 
  3. Mystical, deathly, and devils. Pirates too.
  4. Masks
  5. Statues - This is the article you just reading here!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Cary Collection of Playing Cards and Ephemera

In 1976, I went to Yale College and I found it a very validating experience. Let me be specific. When I arrived at Yale, the major library, Sterling Library, had a display of playing cards and related ephemera. The fact that Yale organized and displayed a major playing card exhibition for my arrival greatly contributed to my sense - as a joker playing card collector - of belonging there.

This article is incomplete. But it has been unfinished for half a year now so I'm publishing it hoping somebody will notice this incomplete article and help me complete it.... I'm also in need of some clarifications and fact checking. 

What is the Cary Collection of Playing Cards?  Melbert B. Cary, Jr. was a life long collector of playing cards: he amassed a world leading collection of cards and related materials from around the world that go back to antiquity.  Following his death,  his wife Mary Flagler Cary gave the collection to the Beineke Library at Yale. The Beineke Library  Cary collection  goes beyond cards and includes significant ephemera, a word that I do not fully understand. 

Also, it's not clear to me what the relationship is between the epiphenous Cary Collection of Playing Cards and the Cary Collection business.  Anyone?

I bought at a 52 Plus Joker auction a copy of the Index to the Cary Collection.  But it maybe should be updated since the Cary collection has been update by a major acquisition. 

In 2017, the Cary Collection using funds from the Mary Flagler Cary Fund  acquired the playing card collection of Tom and Judy DawsonTom and Judy Dawson are royalty in the playing card world due to their creation of the modern version of the Hochman Encyclopedia. It bothers me that Wikipedia does not have an article about Tom and Judy Dawson.

 Tom and Judy Dawson

Tom and Judy Dawson are collectors of antiques and playing card ephemera. They have been collecting for over 40 years. Early on, the Dawsons were influenced by Gene Hochman, an avid collector and playing card enthusiast. Hochman was the author of the original Encyclopedia of American Playing Cards, which was re-written by the Dawsons in 2000. Before his retirement as a Certified Public Accountant, Tom was a senior partner at the accounting organization Deloitte. Judy pursues her interests in the areas of antique collecting, gardening, and home design, in addition to having raised their six children. In addition to caring for their collection, Tom and Judy serve as officers of 52 Plus Joker, a club for those interested in antique American and International playing cards. Judy also edits the club's quarterly publication, Clear the Decks.
The Cary Collection Index on my Bookshelf

Again, please help complete this article.

 An Introduction to Playing Cards and Collecting by Veteran Collectors Tom and Judy Dawson  Posted by EndersGame Reviewer on October 06, 2020  

Tom and Judy Dawson Collection of Playing Card Ephemera. Yale University

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Jokers Advertising Beer

 Beer. Cards are a great place to advertise beer.

What would I like? How kind of you to ask.  I'd like a nice slow pour Guiness, thank you. Cold or warm. 

One reason that I love Guiness is that it's so so good for me.  BTW, I've been to the Guiness factory. Hallowed Ground. (I wonder if I can find the pictures)


And here are all the ensemble shots of beer jokers. There's a little over 30.

Sometimes, like on this next page, a few snack foods have snack in with the beer jokers. Sounds good to me.

Did that wet your appetite to see more advertising jokers? Here's some choices.
  1. Casinos 
  2. Cigarettes,  Liquor, Beer, Text jokers for drinks 
  3. Desserts and Candy 
  4. Coca Cola Jokers      
  5. Cars 
  6. Public Interest Messages, space science and technology
  7. Logo type jokersGeometric Designs Jokers featuring "Joker" 
  8. Ads         Text based jokers
  9. Jokers promoting playing cards , Ads for brands of playing cards
Or if you'd like a change, how about the jokers which are symmetrical along the Y axis. Full duplex.  Two headed. The Topsy Turvy jokers.


Jokers Advertising Liquor

 Advertising with decks of cards is a big good idea. And advertising liquor on cards is a particularly good fit. Here's my favorite jokers with liquor ads on them.

Have you ever drank absinthe? I have. Have you opened a bottle the absinthe and not finished it that same evening?  I have not (although not alone). Have you ever walked into a spooky cave-like absinthe bar on the southern coast of France and thought you were in a drug scene from another century? I have.

Anybody remember the Dubonnet ads: "Du Du Dubonnet"? I sort of do. But not entirely.

Those were the good old days. Les beaux vieux temps!

Here are the ensemble shots. There's a little over 50 right now.


Did that wet your appetite to see more advertising jokers? Here's some choices.
  1. Casinos 
  2. Cigarettes,  Liquor, Beer, Text jokers for drinks 
  3. Desserts and Candy 
  4. Coca Cola Jokers      
  5. Cars 
  6. Public Interest Messages, space science and technology
  7. Logo type jokersGeometric Designs Jokers featuring "Joker" 
  8. Ads         Text based jokers
  9. Jokers promoting playing cards , Ads for brands of playing cards
Or if you'd like a change, how about the jokers which are symmetrical along the Y axis. Full duplex.  Two headed. The Topsy Turvy jokers.