JOKER OF THE MONTH

 

*** 2016 ***

JANUARY 2016

Usually January is a slow month, but this month we had to spend a lot of time on changing pc's. Joop had bought a new one and it took up many hours to get all his programs and settings installed. So these hours couldn't be spend on Ebay or any of the other auction sites and only 5 decks found their way to our mailbox. It limited the number of jokers to choose from, so the choice was easily made again.

A young girl still, but she must be in her seventies now. The joker comes from a deck that was printed and published in Hungary between 1963 and 1965. It is known as Romikartya I and because it was only published for a short time it's a rarely seen deck. We got it through Ebay, but it was sold by a Dutch collector, who is slowly selling his pin-up collection. Because Amsterdam is only a 20 minutes drive away, we decided not to trust the Dutch mail carrier with this deck, but to pick it up ourselves.
Usually we don't show a pin-up joker here, but as we are still in the process of gathering the next 5 decks to add to our "Pin-Up & Erotica" xpo, this deck and joker will not be shown there in the near future and we decided to show this joker here now. ENJOY!

FEBRUARY 2016

There were not many packages in our mailbox this month. In the first weeks Miriam had a relapse and needed much of Joop's attention. Together with the usual household chores he didn't have much time left to search for playing card. Neither at flea markets, nor on the internet. Fortunately the medication got Miriam up and about again and in the last weeks we have found some nice or rare decks on Ebay and the Dutch Markplaats site again, but those with great jokers are still on their way and you'll probably see one of them on this spot here then.

This joker, clearly a Piatnik one, came with a deck that we found on the Dutch auction site. It was published as "Whist 147", probably in the late 1920's, and it's part of a series of luxury editions, which Piatnik has published as "Allerfeinste Pracht-Ausgaben". We already have a deck with the same luxury pattern on the courts, but that one was published by the Perry Co. from Amsterdam as a 32 cards deck, with the special Perry card (often seen as a joker) added. 

The joker looked very familiar, but when we checked all our Piatnik decks and single jokers, we only found some close look-alikes but not this one. So unexpectedly we could add a new joker to our collection and as there was hardly any competition this month we decided to show it here. Enjoy or maybe check your own joker collection. If it's there, than at least you'll know where it came from.

MARCH 2016

Sometimes your mind is pre-occupied with other issues than looking for new decks. Miriam is still struggling with her health and she spent about two-and-a-half week in hospital this month. Joop completely forgot about the large collectors fair in Nieuwegein this month. As that was the only interesting event, the new decks had to come from the internet again. The Dutch site didn't bring anything at all, but we bought a modest number of new decks from the French, American and German Ebay, so our postman rang more than twice this month.

There was one deck that we had been expecting eagerly and it arrived on the 5th of this month. It has a great vintage joker and normally we would have shown it here, but as we don't like to show cards twice on the DXPO site you'll have to visit our Deck of the Month to see it.

So we picked this lovely lady joker to show here this month. She comes from an American deck with non-standard courts, that was probably used as a promotional publication for a fashion shop, although there's no name or any other reference on the box and cards. It's a bit of a mystery deck, so there's nothing we can tell you about this joker. We just hope that you'll enjoy her as much as we do.

APRIL 2016

Joop was determined not to miss the largest collectors fair in the Netherlands and spent two days strolling around and browsing through all the stuff that was on the tables in the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht. But the revenue was very poor this time: only 4 decks worth taking along and none was new for our collection. So we had to turn to the internet again to find at least a few new decks for our collection. 

Some months we have a lot of jokers to choose from, but this month we have mostly bought decks without jokers and there were only two decks with a joker. Both can be called unique. One because it truly is a unique one, but that one is part of the Deck of the Month again, so we can't nominate it for this spot. But we'll show a small teaser here and can only strongly advise you to go and see it in full size (deck 04/16).
The other one is this Joker of the Month and it's only unique, because its the only one left to choose from.

We sometimes help funding playing card projects on Kickstarter and this joker comes from one of them, the Tuxedo deck by Natalia Silva.

MAY 2016

The month started relatively relaxed. On the 12th Miriam celebrated her birthday, not with the usual grand party for friends, but we had dinner at the local top restaurant and as the weather was sunny and warm, we could enjoy our food on the outside terrace overlooking the river Zaan.

The weather was sunny during two weekends and that persuaded Joop to visit some outside flea markets again. They didn't bring anything interesting, so the internet had to help out again. It brought us our Deck of the Month. But no decks with interesting jokers.

Last month one deck arrived that we helped funding through Kickstarter. This month no less than 4 different decks from Kickstarter projects have arrived. Usually they appear in small editions of 2000 - 3000 copies and are regarded as collectable decks. So single jokers from these decks are not often found.
This joker comes from the Nouveau deck, which was published as the 2016 (annual) deck by United Cardists. It's from the "Bourgogne" (second) edition, which became available because the final funding was much higher than the goal amount. Although with basically the same designs on courts and jokers, there are differences in lay-out and coloring, and the box has gold foil finishing. Anyway, we chose this classical Pierrot figure.

JUNE 2016

There hasn't been an antique or vintage joker here for several months now. Somehow all the older decks so far have been 32 cards decks or were never issued with a joker. So a modern one again this month.

It's the Russian joker, that came with a beautiful designed deck about the Trans Siberia Express train. There are two versions, a Russian one and an English one. Both decks have Russian indices on the courts and aces. But it's not only the language used for the text on the box that makes the difference. The decks only have one joker each, but they are quite different in design. This joker comes from the English version. The deck was published by Galerie Schweigert in 2015 as a luxury deck on smooth card with solid gold edges all around.

We found this deck -among others of course- at the annual collectors meeting at the National Playing Card Museum in Turnhout, Belgium. Besides seeing the Belgian, French and other Dutch collectors again, we will always find something interesting there too. This time it also brought us our Deck of the Month, again an antique deck that was never published with a joker, but nevertheless well worth a visit, if you can spare the time.

JULY 2016

No visits to flea or antique markets this month, so we had only the internet to provide us with some new decks for the collection. There wasn't enough time to wade through the vast offer on the American Ebay, but we did follow some of the other Ebays. For us the American Ebay lost a lot of its attraction when that special Ebay shipping and customs program was introduced. A complete rip-off, of which only Ebay will profit and they are unfolding this business scheme in other countries now too.

It wasn't a bad month and we were able to add some interesting non-standard decks. Most of them were modern ones, but we were very pleased with 2 antique decks by the Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland. One came from the Dutch auction site, but the other one was offered to Joop in response to a wanted ad on our Dutch playing cards museum site. It came out of the blue. The ad had been there since January 2012 and this was the first reaction.
One of these SN decks surprised us with a cute, early joker, but that one can be seen with our Deck of the Month.

So a modern one again here. This seemingly headless joker wears special sneakers and the red sole should indicate that the deck was published by Christian Louboutin, a creator of "haute chausure" and famous for the fact that all his shoes have a red sole. It came with a nicely designed non-standard deck, of course with a red soled creation on each of the courts and aces.

AUGUST 2016

Again no visits to local markets, but that was compensated by a first visit to the largest outside brocante fair in Temploux, Belgium. We had never visited that market, although we knew of its existence since the end of the last century. Miriam still isn't well enough to come along, so Joop spent the night before on his own in a small, nearby hotel. Somehow these markets start early in the morning and it's a 4 hour drive from where we live, so spending a night nearby was the only option. But it was a nice and rewarding visit, as it brought us a few new decks for our collection, of which one made it as Deck of the Month.
By chance it was a good opportunity to combine this visit with a visit to the National Playing Cards Museum in Turnhout on the way back home. At 2PM there was the opening of a new exposition with the title "Drawn!" and the presentation of a new, special deck of cards. The deck was published by an avid collector of comic books and he managed to get no less than 57 Flemish comic book artists to each draw a playing card. The result is a colorful deck of 52 different cards with 4 jokers. For those who are interested in comic books and playing cards, we've made a short report of this event, with photo's and images of all the cards in the deck. 
Visit our "EVENTS" page!

Anyway, this month's joker is a modern one again and it was designed by the Belgian comic artist "Herr Seele" (Peter van Heirseele) and shows his favorite character, Cowboy Henk.

SEPTEMBER 2016

Finally a vintage joker again on this spot, although we had to wait until the last day of this month to become the owner. We had followed the offer on several auction sites and even had been successful in acquiring a couple of decks there. Some came with one or more jokers, others were 32 card decks. 
Although the weather was great this month, with lots of dry sunny days and even temperatures over 25 degrees Celsius for a few days, Joop only went to one big market in Utrecht. He came home with 2 vintage Dutch decks.
But the highlight of the month was going to be the IPCS convention in Prague. As that event was held from September 30 to October 2 and the only trading session was on that last day of September, we had to wait until then before we could make the final decision for this spot. And rightly so!

We bought the deck, in which we found this joker, from a Danish collector. The deck was printed in offset by the English manufacturer Alf Cooke, but was only published in Denmark. It dates from around 1936. On the backs the Danish D.D.P.A., a company of oil products, is advertised. But of course for this spot we show the front of the card. ENJOY!

OCTOBER 2016

It seems that the time that Joop visited local flea markets has gone for ever. He didn't even bother to check if there were any this month. However, he's looking forward to the two big events that are on next months agenda. Both are collectors fairs, but the Verzamelaarsbeurs and the Verzamelaars Jaarbeurs can be described as big and bigger and the offer as modestly priced and expensive. They will be held in two consecutive weekends, so Joop has pulled out his most comfortable sneakers, but still fears the hurting hips, knees and ankles after long days of walking around. But hopefully he'll bring back some good finds to sweeten the pain.

It was a bit of a slow month for new decks and so the choice of jokers was very limited too. We did follow the auctions on different Ebays and we did bid on several antique decks, but didn't win any of them. Fortunately we did win a nice vintage French card game, which held a deck of cards that could be used for any card game too. It didn't have jokers though.
But the Dutch Marktplaats site also brought us a card game from the early 1930's. It's called "Kruiswoord" and it's a sort of scrabble, a word game with cards, but this game did have a joker card. Although it doesn't have the word joker, it is described as such in the accompanying rules for the game.

NOVEMBER 2016

We wouldn't call this month slow. There were two big events, a busy social life and.... oh yes, Joop officially became a pensioner. No big party though. He hasn't celebrated his birthday any more since 1976 and although that's a lustrum by itself, he didn't want to celebrate that either. Just the usual intimate dinner for two at a nice restaurant suits him best.

But he did well on the events. The first one was a large collectors fair in Nieuwegein and that brought us -among others- a Dutch deck by the Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland that had been in the top three of our wish list for years. So the first weekend already made it for the whole month. The second event was a week later. It's the largest collectors bourse in the Netherlands (at the Jaarbeurs, Utrecht) and this event also brought us a deck by that same manufacturer. It was a pattern variation that we also didn't have yet. Not very spectacular in design, but still a much appreciated addition.

So were did this joker here come from? There were two packages from the US that arrived shortly after each other. The first had the latest Uusi deck, an advertising one of which only 250 copies were made available to the general public, and the second package held a deck that we helped funding in a Kickstarter campaign. This deck was designed by Wylie Beckert. It's titled "The Wicked Kingdom" and has 2 jokers. We chose this one.

DECEMBER 2016

Because December is always a busy month, it was a rather slow month for new decks or jokers. We didn't have much time to follow the different Ebay's, although the American Ebay brought us two very interesting decks, of which one made it to Deck of the Month. Alas, both never came with a joker.

At the Dutch collectors meeting in Kerkdriel, Joop did more selling than buying for a chance. Always nice, but no good news for the joker collection. He brought home 0 (zero) jokers!

We've been a member of the local "klaverjas" club for many years, playing that game once a week from September to May. The other members there know that we collect playing cards and jokers, so sometimes they bring us jokers and occasionally a deck. Most of the time these are all very common jokers, but every once in a while they surprise you with a new one for the collection. And fortunately this happened earlier this month.
Because it was a single joker, there's nothing we can tell you about it and there's nothing else to do than enjoy this cute little bear.

 

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