JOKER OF THE MONTH


*** 2007 ***

JANUARY 2007

It was a slow month for jokers. There was a general collectors fair mid January and we spent a lot of time and money there. Most of the latter was taken by two antique decks but they were never published with a joker. Fortunately we found 2 nice -Dutch made- jokers there too, from the early 1960's. These are hard to find, as the decks were published card by card as a bonus to a pack of bubblegum. Both came from the same soccer deck, that was illustrated by a famous Dutch sports cartoonist, Dick Bruynestein. So it was a hard choice: one of the 2 soccer players had to go. We gave the Frenchman Remetter the red card and hope that all our Belgian collector-friends from the BEJC will appreciate our choice for this month.

FEBRUARY 2007

Somehow this month we didn't acquire as many decks with jokers as in other months. We got some old Wüst decks, but none of them was published with a joker.
Fortunately our cousin and his wife had taken a second trip to China late last year and when we visited them early this month they offered us some 10 decks. Most of them were souvenir decks from certain towns or special sites and most of them had photographs on the jokers. But we found this cute little cat-tourist in a (photographic) souvenir deck of Shanghai.

We were so impressed with the video they had made and the stories they told, that we have decided to go to China in October and see some of the sites and cities there ourselves. I'm sure that we'll be bringing back decks and jokers, and -knowing myself- maybe we should even consider bringing along an extra suitcase!

MARCH 2007

Some months are better than others, but this month we can't complain about the number of jokers we had to choose from. There were some cute "cat" jokers, a nice French one and a rarely seen joker from a small Polish printer. But we choose a modern designed joker for this month.

We haven't found out yet which manufacturer has printed the deck, but this joker comes from a deck that was published in Denmark for Eva Solo (design stuff). The deck was designed by Tools (Claus Jensen & Henrik Holbaek) and has very colourful non-standard courts. The deck holds 3 (identical) jokers. 

APRIL 2007

April was a busy month in terms of meetings and fairs. So it wasn't a surprise that we had quite a few jokers to choose from. 

This one comes from a French deck that was printed by Grimaud and published by Editions Louis Pariente in 1979 for Lutsia Laboratories. The deck was specially designed and the drawings for the courts and joker were done by Alein Fedi. The deck comes with 2 similar jokers.

Although we had seen this joker before, it was a surprise for us to find the deck it comes from. And......we had never seen this deck before!

MAY 2007

It was a slow month in terms of new decks. There were no collectors fairs or meetings and on Ebay our bids were appearently too conservative. And the 2 decks that we have won on Ebay and 52+ Joker auction were a French Belote deck and a German Skat deck, so.......no jokers!

Fortunately -on a small local fleamarket- we stumbled upon a variation of one of the jokers that were made by Hearts Playing Cards, a small Dutch printer with a playing card line. This deck was made for the Dutch Alzheimer foundation and on the joker they thank their volunteers and co-workers for their input. This insert was only used for the Alzheimer Foundation decks. 

 

JUNE 2007

This month started off very well. A short trip Paris brought us a couple of very good decks, but only one had a joker and that is shown elsewhere on this site. After our return there was the international meeting of playing card collectors in the National Playing Card  Museum in Turnhout, Belgium. Always nice to see your fellow collectors again and this time we did more chatting than browsing, so we didn't bring home that many new decks or jokers.
But just in time we received a deck that we bought from Pascal Pette through Ebay. His publishing firm, "Face&Dos" in Paris, has just launched a new deck that was illustrated by the well-known French illustrator Dubout. He has illustrated 2 new decks for "Face&Dos", but as cats are our fav pets, this "Jeu des Chats" deck and one of  it's 3 jokers was designated to bring forth the Joker of the Month. We chose this one.

 

JULY 2007

Another slow month again for new decks and jokers. No collectors meetings anywhere and we visited only 2 fleamarkets. Everybody with cards seems to be on vacation. We will have to wait until October for our vacation, but then we'll be for three weeks in what some collectors consider a "jokers paradise" .....China! I'm sure we're going to make up for these slow months and bring some jokers of the thousands, that are published there each year, home with us.

Although we added 8 decks to our collection, most of them were either 19th century or German suited, so this month the total score of new jokers was limited to.....3 !!!
Well, at least that made choosing very easy......this "little joker" comes from a gold edged souvenir deck, that was printed by the Canadian Playing Card Company Ltd. from Montreal and published for the Canada Railway News Company as "Canadian National Railways Scenic Playing Cards" ca. 1927. Each card shows a different, oval shaped, scenic photograph.

AUGUST 2007

Another slow month again. Of course we can dedicate that to the poor results of the few markets that we visited again, but in collecting there's a general basic principle that we can blame too: the larger the collection, the lesser chance of finding new items to add. We have some 4000 decks and are close to 10,000 jokers now. That means that the odds of finding something new to add are getting smaller and smaller.Also the fact that we have been collecting for about 10 years now and during the last few years have become a little more choosy about what to buy doesn't help.

But this month we came across a standard deck with two non-standard jokers. Usually we don't buy standard patterned decks, but sometimes make an exception when there are unusual jokers in the deck. This was one of the exceptions, as the price was quite acceptable too. There was no maker or year to be found, but the design is intrigueing. A kind of allegory maybe?

Anyway, it wasn't a hard choice again this month!

 

SEPTEMBER 2007

This month's joker was found at the trading meeting of the Bruxelles Euro Joker Club. It was the first meeting after the vacation period, so it was extra nice to see all the familiar faces again there and as usual the offer of decks and jokers was overwhelming again too.

One of the decks that were brought home was a French C.M.A deck. It was made by Grimaud and published for a French insurance company, the Caisse Mutuelle d'Assurances et de Prevoyance, in 1972. The deck was illustrated by James Hodges, a reknowned French illustrator,  who has  -besides all his other commercial work- illustrated an impressive total of some 63 decks of cards. Seventeen of them are for quartet or other games. 

Anyway, the C.M.A. deck was a good find this month and the joker survived this month's competition as best joker!

 

OCTOBER 2007

As we have spend most of this month on vacation in China, it will be no surprise that this joker comes from there too. We have found a lot of new decks and jokers during our stay in various Chinese cities. Most of the jokers came from standard decks. These are really cheap and because we had already bought many non-standard decks we didn't want to take any complete standard decks with us (overweight is expensive in airplanes). So whenever we found a new deck, usually at a cigarette stall, we first bargained about the price of one deck, then opened it to see what jokers it contained and when we liked them, we bought a few extra decks. Then we took out all the jokers and returned the rest of the deck to the seller. It opened quit a few mouths or brought smiles to their faces. We could hear them think........stupid foreigners!

Most Chinese jokers are simple drawings and the decks contain a coloured and a b/w version of the design. The deck where this joker came from contained 2 exactly the same jokers and their design is a little more sophisticated. We brought home more than a 100 different pairs of jokers from standard decks, but this was the best one! Too bad we only found one deck of them.

NOVEMBER 2007

There was a little discussion here about this month's joker. We both agreed that the joker shown here wasn't actually the best one, but the second best. The point was that the best joker can already be seen at another page of our website: it's part of the Deck of the Month. Should we show it here too? It took a while, but as you can see, the answer was no. We don't want duplicate images on our website. So if you really want to see a rare joker, see November's "Deck of the Month" in the Xpo section. 

This joker came to us on the last day of the month. It was acquired in Paris at a small shop, called Variantes. It comes from a deck that was published by Face&Dos from Paris as "Jeu Féérique". The deck was illustrated by Pierre Joubert.

Why one of us was in Paris? See the "Events" page, accessable through the "Agenda" button!

DECEMBER 2007

A shipload of decks arrived this month. Almost literally, as most of them came by seamail from China: a delayed souvenir of our visit there. With over 60 new Chinese non-standard decks one would expect a Chinese joker here, but they were all beaten by this kangeroo. He came hopping to us from Germany... from the latest catalogue of Jean Darquenne's Cartorama.

The joker comes with a non-standard deck that was published in France in the 1950's for "Erby", a company (or shop?) that was specialized in underwear. As there's also a small version of this kangeroo (without the joker attributes and underwear) on the Ace of Hearts, we assume that this was the company's logo. The special design of the courts is repeated per suit: the Kings and Queens show their underwear and the Jacks are faceless hunters with a horn.
Anyway, this joker was the best for December. 

 

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