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.
*** 2019 ***
We have always had a soft spot for cats. We've had quite a few around the house since we started living together in 1975. At this moment we have 2, of which one is an almost 6 months old rascal, that still needs to learn some house rules. So it's no surprise that Miriam has a sub-collection of "cat decks", drawn or photo's.
On the last day of this month a new addition for her cats folder arrived. It was a surprise gift that Joop had ordered from Apenas Livros, a publisher in Portugal. The woman in charge there turned out to be Fernanda Frazão, who had organized the IPCS convention in Lisbon in 2010, during which we had briefly met her.
The deck was published as "Gatos Baralhados" in 2018. Each card has a different illustration, with a cat of course, by Susana Resende. It was the only modern deck with jokers that we have received this month, so the choice was very easy again.
It was a sad month, as I had to say farewell to my Miriam. She passed away on the 11th. Although we had foreseen that the chance of growing old together was rather slim, we both thought that this hospital admittance on the 6th would end like all those times before: back home on the couch within 2 or 3 weeks. But this time she had caught a virus, with which her lungs couldn't cope. Her death came swift and soft. I was there to hold her hand until the last breath.
jokers was Miriam's part of our shared hobby. I have always been more
interested in complete decks, but besides this shared interest Miriam
had several sub-collections too. Besides the above mentioned cat decks
folder, she also had a folder with aces of spades from incomplete decks
that we had had, a folder with backs that had playing cards or suit
symbols and a folder with backs with cats, of course. But when she
started to collect non-standard playing cards, she simultaneously began
collecting single jokers too. In those days there were still a good
number of bourses for playing cards and jokers in the low lands. Year in
year out we visited the bourses in Utrecht and Nieuwerbrug, but also
those in Antwerp and Brussels. Nowadays three of these four no longer
exist. Most of the collectors do their thing online now. Miriam never
was very happy with this. She enjoyed meeting the other collectors face
to face, talk about jokers, learn about them in discussions. She was a
This month I have spend a few days integrating Russian decks from the LB collection into our own and I have started doing the same with the decks from the Baltic states. I had selected a nice Latvian joker, because I thought that I hadn't bought any new decks or jokers this month. But..... I was in Paris for the exchange meeting of the French collectors on the last day of the month. The Saturday before was spent on the usual two "brocante" markets and on the one at the Port de Vanves I found an intriguing deck with a joker that I hadn't seen before. The courts had a standard English pattern and the deck was published as "Emerald" (with "superfine poplin finish"). On one of the sides it said "made in Ireland", but on the other side "made in Free State". According to Wikipedia the Irish Free State existed between 1922 and 1937 and consisted of 26 of the 32 counties. The other 6 counties formed Northern Ireland. The Free State was established as a Dominion of the British Commonwealth by a treaty after a 3 year independence war between the IRA and the British Crown forces.
The joker looks as if the sitting Waddington joker has just stood up and enjoys this new position. The cards and box look professional, but Waddington never had a production plant in Ireland. Maybe the Irish Playing Card Co. (producer of a "Heroic Set" of Irish playing cards around 1910) was still active in the 1920's and designed this joker just to make fun of the British one.
No new jokers at all this month. Even worse, no new decks either!
So I chose one of the latest jokers that I had bought. It came with a deck that I picked up at the Porte de Clignancourt flea market in Paris on March 30. It came with a deck that was printed by Boéchat Frères and published by Dusserre for the Credit Cooperatif. It's titled "La Monnaie Française à Travers les Ages" and the non-standard designs on the courts show mediaeval figures with coins from different decades and centuries. The designs were done by Henri Simoni.
information can be found on the joker, but nowhere in the deck a date is
mentioned, as in many other decks by Editions J.C. Dusserre. It takes only a
little effort to add this, but it would make life much easier for collectors.
So now I'll have to make an educated guess. It's probably from a relatively
recent date, as I had never seen this deck until it was offered on eBay last
year. So..... 2010 - 2015??????
There's a nice antique Italian deck on my desk, with an equally nice joker. But that deck is part of a trade that hasn't been finished yet, so it also doesn't feel like my deck yet. Maybe I'll be able to show it here next month.
For this month there was a choice between jokers from 3 publications, of which 2 had two versions. Both came from Kickstarter projects that I had backed earlier this year. One of them was a reproduction, based on 40 antique transformation cards that were published in an Australian magazine, the Christmas Annual (Melbourne, 1875). Twelve court cards and two jokers were added in a sort of similar looking design.
The deck was published as "A Motley Pack". One version of the deck is called the Heritage edition and is done in b/w, like the original drawings. The other version is called the Royal edition. That deck has gilded edges, but also color was added to the designs. I chose this joker from the Royal edition.
I had already announced the antique Italian joker last month. The deal was completed this month and I can rightfully call the deck mine, but..... I have decided to make the deck our new Deck of the Month. So if you want to see that joker, then you'll have to visit our Deck of the Month xpo.
For this month I've chosen a joker that comes from a deck that a friend brought home from a vacation in France. She explicitly had ignored the fact that I once told all our friends not to bring us any decks from their vacations, because we probably would already have them. This time she proved me wrong!
The joker comes from a deck by Editions Dusserre that was published as "Tapis de Bayeux" and each card shows a part of that famous tapestry. The 2 jokers show different details, separated from their original background. I chose this griffin-like creature.
I visited my first
outside market of this year, the antique market in Apeldoorn. Until now it was
held 6 weeks in a row during the summer, but this year only 3 markets were
scheduled. It was a great success, as I found a Cotta deck there..... at a
bargain price. But it turned out to be the same Cotta deck that we have in our
Because I thought
that the joker has an American look I've searched through the Hochman, but I
couldn't find it in there. So maybe not American or Canadian? Any visitor with
info about this one?
There weren't many decks in my mailbox this month. In fact only two Neerlandia C decks (from 1917-1920) by the Dutch Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland were found there. We have that in our collection, but these came in a blue and brownish box with a different factory number and complete with the "little farmer" joker. I had bought them to resell, but the boxes were in such good condition, that I decided to keep them both.
Fortunately I still
support the occasional playing cards project on Kickstarter. There are many
decks being designed and offered for backing at Kickstarter. Not all of them
are of our taste. Last year we had backed this deck and this month it arrived
by mail. Unfortunately the Dutch customs charged import tax on this package.
There was little choice this month. There were only 2 of these football jokers that I had bought on the Dutch auction site and it turned out that we already had both of them. We even had the deck. Oh well......
It was an exciting month. I had a deck printed and was able to publish it on September 17. That was right in time to take it along to the IPCS convention. I flew to Catania (Sicily) on the 18th. and spent a few vacation days there too, before and after the convention. There were not as many attendees as on previous occasions, but it is always nice to see the familiar faces again and greet new members too. These conventions are not a source for jokers though, unless they come with a deck.
The joker was
printed by Rhoon BV from Heerjansdam (Netherlands) and published by Monty in
1963. It was designed by the Dutch cartoonist Dik Bruynesteyn, who was
specialized in sports men and women.
Some time ago I
had already decided not to buy single jokers any more. It was Miriam's thing.
And I also decided to cut back drastically on buying decks. That worked so
well that this last month I've only acquired one deck and it was never
published with a joker.
There was not a real choice to make this month. Although I visited the large general collectors bourse at the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, I found hardly any decks there and those three decks didn't have jokers that were good enough to show here. Ebay didn't bring any decks this month and the two incomplete decks that I bought on the Dutch auction site were a nice find (Cartes Comiques by Dondorf, c 1860) but were never issued with a joker.
However, at a small local indoor flea market I was surprised by an unexpected find. A nice vintage French deck, that I had never seen before. The deck was published by Perceval from Paris as "Les Cinq Parties du Monde" (the 5 parts of the world) in 1953. It's a deck with non-standard courts representing Europe, Africa, the America's and Asia. The only other illustrated cards in the deck are the 2 similar designed jokers. So they must represent the 5th part, being Polynesia.
I usually don't go to small local flea markets any more, but this one was so close by that I could walk there. I avoid these flea markets, because they usually have too many clothes on offer, there are hardly any interesting decks to find and you've seen the complete offer well within half an hour. It was the same here, except for the surprise find. Maybe I should reconsider my policy.
The jokers of the month from.....
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