JOKER OF THE MONTH
Started in March 2004, there will be
a new "joker of the month" added to this xpo each month.
The shown joker presents the best one that came to us in that month.
Each year we'll start with a clean sheet, but previous years will remain on xpo.
*** 2018 ***
Although the deck, from which this joker comes, didn't even make it to the shortlist for Deck of the Month, the joker only had a few others to compete with. Most of the decks that we could add to our collection were antique ones that were never issued with a joker. Although we did find 2 old SN jokers, a "little devil" with "de joker" on it and a "farmers boy", those were not new for us as image and we kept them only because they had a different back than the ones that we already had in our collection. We collect the different backs by SN too.
So it was between this joker and 4 jokers that came with the NEO deck by Montenzi.NZ from New Zealand and the 4 different jokers that came with two decks that were published as "Alexandre Dumas Classics" by Bona Fide Playing Cards from Spain. Both were Kickstarter projects that we had backed in 2017, but the decks arrived this month.
Well, as you can see, this one won. There were 4 exactly the same jokers in this deck, that was published by Singapore Air, probably in 2016. The fact that there are 4 jokers, could mean that the decks were printed in Malaysia. Anyway, we thought that this character had all the ingredients of a real joker and the ones from the other modern decks didn't.
A very quiet month in terms of new acquisitions. There were no collectors meetings or large flea markets, so we had to rely on the internet. But neither eBay nor the Dutch auction site had any really interesting decks for us in their offer. In the end there were only 3 new decks, of which 2 had one or more jokers.
Because the vintage French pin-up deck will be shown in the Pinup & Erotica section next month, the 2 accompanying jokers were out of competition and there was only one joker left.
However, we bought the complete Dieudonné deck just for the joker. The pattern is a standard Belgian-Genoese, but the deck also came with the original wrapper and tax band and that was a nice extra too. The tax band was in use between 1926 and 1938, so we've dated the deck as around 1930.
So this month there was no actual choice to be made. Hopefully next month will bring us more jokers to choose from.
A random choice this month. We have acquired a very large collection of playing cards and it will take us months to process that and integrate the new decks into our own collection. We've only been at it for less than 2 weeks and we've already seen some marvelous vintage or antique jokers that came with equally marvelous decks.
So there was a problem this month, but we decided to take the first joker that we would find in a random chosen folder and that would surprise us in some way. Well, this one came up.
We had not seen this version of the company joker before. He comes with a deck that was printed by Handa from Denmark and published as a special design of the Rhineland pattern around 1965.
More jokers from the acquired collection will probably be shown here below in the coming months. I doubt that we will be buying any single jokers in the coming months and not many new decks either.
A hectic month, due to the ongoing sorting out of our newly acquired collection. A good number of decks were new to our own collection and some of them had jokers that we had never seen before. We could fill a whole page with them. Might be a good idea to finally create a new Joker xpo again. Next month?
Although we have found older ones, this one is just a good example of such a never seen before joker. He came with a deck that had some lovely courts, designed by Edward Sorel in a caricaturist style. The deck was published by NBC Television Network in 1960. It was not meant to be handed out to viewers, but used as a gift to advertisers on the network.
We'll probably be
busy sorting out more new decks in May too, so we'll present an other new
found joker here next month again.
As said, we're still in the process of sorting out the newcomers and, as expected, there were some treasures again this month. We already have 3 shoe boxes full of new decks for us and 3 more to check if they are an improvement of what we already have. Most of the new decks are antique ones and most of them were never issued with a joker.
But here's a nice joker from a German deck by a small printing firm, Wesel & Naumann. The deck was published as "Finest Wenau Poker Playing Cards" around 1925. "Wenau" obviously is a contraction of WEsel & NAUmann. Apparently the deck was made for the English or American market. The texts are all in English, the deck came in a sliding box and the pattern is based on the Anglo-American pattern, but definitely doesn't follow the pattern rules. The outline around the joker even reminds us of an antique American joker.
Although we've already sorted out many folders, there are still some 15 folders left. So that will keep us busy for at least an other month. But it's fun to come across decks that we've never seen before and every once in a while that happens. Hopefully we'll come across some nice jokers in June and can present another stunning one again next month.
attend the Collectors Day at the National Playing Card Museum in Turnhout,
Belgium, this year. A pity, because there are always Belgian and Dutch joker
collectors there too with a vast offer to trade. Joop didn't buy any single
jokers. When he does, it usually turns out that Miriam already has about half
of them, so we just have more jokers to trade and we already have plenty of
It's not the stunning old joker that we had hoped for, but given the fact that we both had very little time to spend on playing cards, the options were limited and we settled for this one. Maybe next month a rare oldie again?
We both had a lot on our plate this month, medically speaking, so we didn't get to spend much time on playing cards, eBay or social media like FB. Only in the last week of this month we picked up sorting out the last bits of the LB collection again. We sort of had to, because the monthly update was waiting and we had to find an interesting Deck of the Month and of course a joker for this spot. It wasn't a real surprise, but most of the decks that were left in the sheets were not that interesting. But fortunately we found a few interesting ones too.
So..... a rare oldie this time? You bet! We found this joker in an almost antique deck that was printed by the Kruckow-Waldorff company from Denmark. It was published as "Kruckow's Danske Spillekort No. 253" around 1925. The joker is quite unusual and we definitely had never even seen it before. So a good one to share here. ENJOY!
Miriam is as well as possible at the moment and Joop has had his last medical treatment halfway this month, so we both could spend some time on sorting out the LB decks. It meant that we saw all the decks again, that we had set aside for ourselves. They are now sorted by country and we've started to compare them to the decks from those countries that we already have in our collection. Most of the new comers are decks that we can add. Some need assessing and will be (or have already been) exchanged, while others went directly into the boxes with new decks to add.
Our own collection
of Lithuanian decks wasn't very large and we've found many decks to add. Three
stood out by their remarkable designs. One has been appointed "Deck of
the Month" and one has supplied the joker for this spot.
It hasn't happened in over 14 years, but there has to be a first time for everything and this month the presentation of a new joker on this spot has been delayed by a week. We returned home from the IPCS convention in Leinfelden on October 2 and there was a lot of work to be done for eBay: sending out packages and entering new listings. Miriam wasn't well and needed attention as well. So not much time to spend on other things.
Of course we had brought back some new decks from Leinfelden, so there was a fresh choice this time. One of the items was a double deck by the Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers. This Trade Guild is one of the oldest in London and it's history goes back to the 17th century. Since 1882 the company has made a special annual deck, published as a double deck, usually with a photo of the Master on the ace of spades and a back design commemorating an important event of the past year. But there are a few non-standard decks in that series too and this joker comes from the 2010-2011 edition, the first to present a transformation deck. It came with 2 jokers and we liked this one the most.
There was only one
event this month: the general collectors fair in Nieuwegein (Netherlands).
Although Joop saw some amazing things there, he came home with only 3 decks,
of which one was an improvement and the other two trading material.
So this month we'll show you the improvement.... literally. The joker comes from a French drawn pin-up deck that was published by a magazine called Topless around 1970. We had the deck, but without the joker, so the joker was the only reason to pick it up. The image is somewhat enlarged. The cards measure 40 x 64 mm, so it really is a "little joker".
This month there was only one major event, the largest collectors bourse in the Netherlands in Utrecht. It brought us our best find in years, an antique Dutch hand painted transformation deck. But of course that didn't have a joker. Miriam found some new jokers when a fellow collector visited us and had taken along her book of duplicate jokers. But, sorry Rina, they were not chosen for this spot.
Our chosen joker comes from an antique American deck that was made by the C.P.H. Cook Co. from Hartford, Connecticut and published as Prince Charles Playing cards in 1897. It's a non-standard deck in which the suits are represented by the objects that also carry their name. They are presented as such in each suit and are also shown in the center of the joker: the spade, club, heart and diamond. The deck isn't seen very often, so the joker is pretty rare too.
December will be a hectic month, but one with only one meeting, in Hasselt, Belgium. This is a meeting that is mostly interesting for joker collectors and because Joop is more interested in complete decks than jokers, we have never attended a meeting there. So for us the new Joker of the Month will have to come from the internet again.
December turned out to as hectic as expected, but Joop had taken a vacation from eBay so he would have time to deal with all the chores and shopping and still enjoy the holiday season. In his last auctions he had announced to resume his eBay auctions in January. The idea was to start listing on the 30th again, but he decided to extend his vacation with one more week.
It was nice not to be on line as much, but that also meant that we didn't really follow the offer on the different auction sites and only one deck was bought on line. That was an antique Belgian Bongout deck, so without joker.
Fortunately we have two friends who often go to flea markets and one of them called us to hear if we were interested in a couple of Dick Bruynestein cards with their original wrappers that they had found. A few days later one of them came over and brought along 2 jokers that they had also found. Miriam didn't have this set (the other is similar, but in b/w), so we thank Frank and Oscar for saving the day or in this case the month. It's a Chinese joker, by the Guangzhou Yuhua Playing Cards Co. Ltd.. The figure is known here from other jokers, but never with this large JOKER on it, probably made for a regular deck with large indices.
The jokers of the month from.....
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