The standard joker of the Belgian manufacturer Carta Mundi  is known for its variations. There are way over a hundred, although nobody seems to know how many there are exactly.  So it's time to take a closer look at this joker.

Carta Mundi was founded on the 27th of June 1970. It consisted of the playing card divisions of the 3 major printers, that were left in Turnhout: Brepols, Van Genechten and Léonard Biermans. The company acquired all the copyrights from all 3 printers on the factory and trade marks, the card designs, the special frizzled aces and........the factory jokers.

One of the 3 printers, Van Genechten, had taken over a Turnhout printer, Mesmaekers, in 1968. It was a Mesmaeker's joker from the 1930's that would become the father of the wellknown Carta Mundi joker.

Of course the variations of this joker are too numerous to show. There are ones with no text in the banner, some say only joker or jolly joker. Some have dots in the corners (with different appearance and colouring....of course), different colouring etc etc. We will only show the special editions or the special advertising jokers here.

In the beginning of the 1970's the new company made a number of advertising decks for their former owners and of course for their own company too. Here are 2 examples of special jokers that were made for these kind of decks.

At their 10 anniversary Carta Mundi published two special decks, a French and an English patterned, each with 2 special jokers.


Carta Mundi has been very succesful in selling advertising decks. Working from Belgium and Holland they made their way throughout Europe. Several big European manufacturers have been taken over and they have set foot in the USA and opened their first plant there a few years ago. That makes Carta Mundi a world player in this business and we may expect more special advertising decks and jokers in the future. Here are some special jokers from advertising decks from the past.

We'll start with jokers, holding an advertising playing card.







The last 2 ones are a bit odd, but they were both made by Carta Mundi and are jokers with a card, although with an odd joker or unusual  suitcolour.


But a playing card can be turned into an advertising card just as easy........

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