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.
*** 2020 ***
A new year and the downsizing of our collection has finally begun. This means going through boxes with decks that still had to be processed, deciding which would stay and which would be sold/swapped. Besides our new Deck of the Month this Joker of the Month comes from a deck that will stay in our collection.
a rarely seen Finnish deck, that was printed and published by Abo-Turk in
1941. The courts are done in an Art Deco like style. The used card is not
of high quality due to the scarceness of paper, caused by WW II.
was a large collectors bourse during the last weekend of the month. It
is held twice a year and I go there on both occasions. Officially the
bourse is only on Saturday and Sunday, but on Friday the sellers get a
chance to put their stuff on the stalls and collectors get a chance to
attend at a slightly higher entry fee. I usually go on Friday and
modern joker this time. I came across it when I was sorting out some
Italian decks with the nowadays usual question.... to stay or to go. So
this one got to stay. There was a second joker, a different one, but I
liked the colours of this one better. They both came in a deck that was
designed by Ugo Nespolo and published by the R.A.I. in Italy in 1997.
The deck was printed by Dal Negro from Treviso.
I'm a member of a few different Facebook groups about playing cards. Since a few days there's a new group, that deals with counterfeit decks, false jokers and other misbehaviour in the playing cards world. I had written a short story about the Russian publisher MAK who shamelessly copies artwork from the internet and turns the pictures into decks. One of the members asked me to show the Olympus deck by Wolfgang Behrend. I had been in contact with the artist between 2010 and 2013 and had written that Wolfgang (1944 - 2015) had pictures of cards on his website, showing complete decks there. But one of these decks hadn't been published yet, as Wolfgang was still looking for a German printer for this deck. In one of our last contacts I could tell him that this Olympus deck had already been printed and published in Russia..... by MAK.
When I was scanning the courts from this deck for that member I realized that the joker (one of 2 similar designed ones) was not often seen and although from a rogue deck, still worth showing here. I'm a bit lazy! Sorry.
don't know how it is in other countries, but here in the Netherlands our
"intelligent" lockdown means that only people in "vital"
functions are still allowed to work. Bars, restaurants, nail salons and many
other small businesses have been ordered to close down. If possible people
work from home, but there are a lot of people at home without a job to go to.
Schools are still closed, so the kids are at home following classes on a
3 decks this month, of which two were never published with a joker and the
third one had a standard CM joker. So I had to find another source. In one of
the Facebook groups about playing cards I show a different deck each day since
April 2: "the lockdown series". Last week I had to find the
jokers to go with the Cashmere deck by Piatnik. I knew what they looked like
and that they would be in a holder that Miriam named "heads". I
found them, but while strolling through the sheets I saw a good number of
jokers that I couldn't remember seeing before. I showed a few of them in the
Joker Collectors group on FB.
month I visited a joker collector. He was relatively new to the hobby and he
wanted to swap jokers, not buy them. So I took a look at his duplicate jokers,
but they were all pretty common. He also showed me his collection and even
although that mostly consisted of common jokers too, there was one that I had
never seen before. When Miriam was still around we had visited beginning joker
collectors before and were always surprised to find one or two in their
collection that we had never seen before, no matter how limited that
collection was. Same here.
So here she is, sitting on the moon holding up a drink, surrounded by stars and some light brown nebula's. No, she's not in the best condition. The back shows a goose in flight and advertises Miller High Life, "the champagne of bottle beer". So that's probably in the glass she's holding. Google brought some more information. Apparently this logo is called "Girl on the Moon" and there have been at least 5 versions of her. This version would have been in use in the 1950's. I think it's safe to say that the joker was made in the US, but couldn't put a maker to it. Nevertheless...... cheers!
Only one deck arrived this month, It's from the 1850's, so from the pre-joker era. But I did buy jokers this month, in fact 99 of them. They are Heineken jokers and all the same. So why buy them? Well, they came as an uncut sheet and that sheet was printed by the Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland. This company is the only real focus we had in collecting playing cards and we have tried to gather as much material as possible, so decks, advertisements, prints etc. It's not the first time that the jokers for a deck were printed separately by SN and the sheet was bought just to prove that point.
as that may be, it also means that there were no jokers to choose from this
month. Just as I thought I would go through some albums with jokers and choose
one, I remembered an unusual, but rare vintage single joker that I had
recently put in a sales album. It saved me a lot of time and the joker is well
worth showing here.
August 20 there finally was an outside antique market in Apeldoorn again.
Three previously announced ones had been canceled due to a certain virus. But
it was different. Usually I do a lane, looking at stalls on both sides. Now
each lane was divided in two directions. A good number of people wore
facemasks, but it was hard to comply with social distancing. Usually I do the
market at least twice, but this time I decided to find my car after just one
Before putting the joker here, I decided to do some research, because I found the 5 in a star in combination with the 5 stars that he's juggling with rather intriguing. The E.E. Fairchild Co. was based in Rochester, NY, and has produced playing cards roughly between the 1930's and 50's. However, a more accurate dating seems to be possible. In 1938 the company produced the "Crompton Five Suit Bridge", mentioned as NS22 in the Hochman Encyclopedia. It's not pictured there, but the extra suit is described as green and shaped as the combination of all the other suits. The suits are not shown on this joker, but I think that it's the best explanation for that intriguing 5.
are a lot of jokers offered at a Dutch advertising site, of which most are
pretty common ones. Every once in a while you may find a more unusual one and
I fell for this lady as soon as I saw her for the first time.
came as a single joker, so there is no way of telling anything more about her.
The text is only in French, but still I believe that the joker was made in
Belgium. Don't know why, just a hunch. There's a signature of the illustrator
at the bottom of her foot. Hard to read.....Six?
PS. A Dutch fellow collector, Rina, wrote me that she has this joker with the same back, but in Dutch. So "made in Belgium" is most likely correct. Now.... anyone with a maker's name?
A busy month, but in the end one with only two new decks for the collection. And..... good news for this page: both had a joker worth showing here. Still it was an easy choice. The other joker can be seen in our Deck of the Month, a rare souvenir deck of the 1904 St. Louis World Fair, because the cards and holder are made of aluminum.
This joker here is a kind of scoop. It comes from the latest transformation deck by Elaine Lewis. She has been working hard this year on the deck that is in the process of being published as "Once Upon A Time" in a numbered, limited edition of 50 hand coloured decks. October 1st I had received an email from Barney Townsend that Elaine had finished my deck. I sent payment immediately and a fortnight later the deck with #21/50 was delivered. By that time it had sort of slipped my mind, so it was a nice surprise again.
Delightful designs on all the cards, courts as well as transformed pips. However, I couldn't put up two of Elaine's decks in a row as Deck of the Month. So she'll have to settle for Joker of the Month this time. The title suggests that the deck deals with fairy tales and with that knowledge it's not very difficult to put a name to this joker, so..... meet Jack (and his beanstalk).
I could have shown you one of the 2 jokers that come with a deck that I have published this month, showing artwork by the Dutch artist Pim Leefsma, but as you could expect..... they are to be seen in our new Deck of the Month. Interested? CLICK!
a different one, but still one that isn't often seen. The reason for that is
that it was never published in a deck. The jokers and all the other cards for
a complete deck were found single in packages of bubblegum. So by eating a lot
of bubblegum and smart trading one could make a complete deck. It's very hard
to find a complete deck, then and nowadays too. This one came in a lot of some
120 cards, yet not a complete deck could be made from them.
new jokers in the mail and no visits to other joker collectors for trading or
buying. So I had to go through Miriam's collection. That is divided over
several holders. I took out one randomly and it was called
"sitting". Looking for one to show here, I saw several jokers that I
had never seen before or didn't remember seeing. Miriam usually went her own
way during meetings. She went to look at the books with jokers, while I was at
a different table looking at decks. On the way back she would show me her
finds while I was driving. At home she would make several stacks of new
jokers, one for each appropriate holder. So there were several moments for me
to see them, but apparently my memory wasn't of the same quality as hers. She
almost always knew which joker she already had in her collection and which one
would be new. Later when she couldn't attend meetings, I used to buy jokers
for her, but usually half of them was already in her collection.
The jokers of the month from.....
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