*** 2004 ***

MARCH 2004

We found this joker in The Hague,
March 28th 2004. 

We had bought a deck (on Ebay.....of course) from people that we had met a few times during a big collectors fair. They had already invited us before, so this seemed a good moment to set a date and go there. After chatting over tea and cake, we went upstairs to their hobby room and out came a big box filled with decks. Of course there were nonstandard decks that we didn't have yet and wanted. But there was this Chinese deck with a standard international pattern had these great jokers. Couldn't resist them. Here's the "coloured" one, the second has the same design but in purple-ish unitone.
Of course we have added a number of new jokers to our collection in this month, but this one......THE BEST !

APRIL 2004

When we bought this deck on the German Ebay, it was intended to be re-sold. The picture that was in the item description, was very small and showed one face card and the back design, advertising PICON Apéritif. We have the "Darling Playing Cards" deck in our collection, with the standard factory backdesign and were not interested in an advertising backdesign, although these are not often seen for this deck. Our interest is in the face designs.
So when the deck was delivered and we opened the package, we were very pleasantly surprised........there was an advertising text "Pikant wie Picon" on every face card, thus making it a variation, that is interesting enough for our own collection.
Although  we have won another great deck on Ebay this month, with great jokers too, we treasure this variation just a little bit more!


MAY 2004

This joker comes from an old American advertising deck, that was printed by the Arcco Playing Cards Co. and published in 1928 for the PEP BOYS Auto Supply chain. The three brothers that founded the stores are Manny, Moe and Jack. They are on each of the Kings, Queens and Jacks, holding auto supplies, like a battery, a spark plug and a motor oil can. They also sit at the table of this no-joker, inviting you to play with them..............
The deck was bought on Ebay and arrived just in time to enter this joker. Otherwise you would have seen an interesting Mexican joker. Maybe this one will turn up in one of the future joker xpo's.


JUNE 2004

A joker from Sweden this time. It comes from a deck that was printed by Granbergs AB from Stockholm in 1924. The deck is known as "Hjortzberg Spelkort", named after the man who had designed the deck: Olle Hjortzberg (1872-1959), painter and professor at the Art Academy. The designs show romantic Jugendstil influences. There are 6 variations of this deck, including a patience sized one.
We got this deck from Ebay. Reading back, it may seem that a lot of our "new" decks come from Ebay. But in fact some of our best finds came from Dutch fleamarkets. Early this month we found a rare old deck, "den Nederlandsche Speelkaart", in Utrecht. So why not show the joker? Well, that deck was published ca. 1900......without a joker!


JULY 2004

Ben Crenshaw is originally known as an artist who makes gems, rings etc. embellished with old Celtic symbols or knots. He has published a deck in the US in May 2004: the Pippoglyph playing cards. The international pattern was used, but each of the courts has been "dipped in a Celtic sauce". The suitcolours too are made of old Celtic patterns.
The deck came with 2 lovely double-imaged jokers (not the same) and this is the one that looked best to us. was the best one among the rest of this month's new jokers too!

Grimaud vs. Card Fabrique


Before we went on vacation, we had already chosen a joker as runner-up, but on August 30th, just after we had arrived in Berck-sur-mer, France, we decided to take a stroll in the center of the town. We spotted an antique shop in a side-street. Besides two old glasses with a King of Clubs and a Queen of Hearts enameled on them, we found an old Grimaud deck there. We already have this deck in our collection and although the newfound deck was incomplete, the most important cards, a beautiful Ace of Spades and this great Joker, were present. So we took it with us to our hotel and the joker was there and then elected best Joker of August.
The whole design of the joker refers to the World Exhibition of 1878 in Paris, and the deck was probably published in that year too, making it the earliest Grimaud deck with an international pattern. A few years later the Ace of Spades was used in an American deck, called "Boudoirs", by the Card Fabrique Company from Middletown, USA. A short article (with pics) about the two decks can be read by clicking the Joker.


During the hectic weeks after our return from vacation, we received a few packages with decks. There was the "Bush in Drag" deck, with an interesting "monkee joker" or the latest deck by Elaine Lewis, which would have made a nice scoop in this section. But we have decided that this Carta Mundi joker, with a rarely seen advertising variation, would be the September joker. We found it at a monthly fleamarket in Utrecht. The deck itself is not exceptional. It has Carta Mundi's standard Dutch pattern, regular Dutch scenic aces and it advertises D.E. on the backs and box. However, the logo of the D.E. company has been inserted twice among the falling cards on each of the otherwise standard Carta Mundi jokers. D.E. stands for Douwe Egberts, the major Dutch manufacturer of coffee. This Dutch touch, plus the fact that this CM variation is rarely seen, made us share it with you as Joker of the Month. 


Before his first attendance of the meeting of the Dutch playing card collectors in Linschoten, a French collector spent a few days with us. So we had first choice in all the decks that he had brought with him for the meeting. One of the decks that we chose to acquire was an older French deck from the 1950's. It came with this joker. Because we don't know the maker of this deck, we hope that one of our visitors will recognize the joker and help us with this info.

But even if we don't get any further info, this was still the nicest joker that we have added to our collection this month!


We found this joker during the November meeting of the BEJC in Brussels. It comes from an older American deck, with a pin-up design on the backs, from the 1950's.

This pretty mermaid triggered the latest addition to the joker xpo's. This "mermaids" xpo can also be seen by clicking the joker.

There were lots of new jokers this month. Among them were 9 Dutch jokers with vintage and modern cars on them. Although these are very rare jokers, none of them could pass this lady. As soon as we saw here, we knew that she was going to be this month's best!
But the rare Dutch jokers can be seen on this site too. They have their own separate joker xpo.



Although December had some hectical weeks, it was a slow month for new decks. No collectors fairs or other meetings, so the deck came from Ebay. It was published by earlier this year. The deck has nonstandard courts and aces, on which the penguin, being the Linux symbol, is depicted in a repeating series of 4 designs.

And who else could be the joker in this deck than........... Bill Gates!


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