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.

 

*** 2024 ***

JANUARY 2024

For the first time in months I couldn't restrain myself and bought some decks from the collection of the late Dudley Ollis, an English collector with a wonderful collection. A few parts of his collection have already been sold at Dominic Winter auction house and no doubt there's more to come.

There was one lot at the last auction that consisted of 6 decks made by the same company and with the same title: the Royal National Patriotic playing cards by William Kimberley from Birmingham. This deck, especially the first three editions have always been somewhere, not very high, on my wish list, but they are not very often seen on offer. Now that the opportunity was there to get all but one of the different versions, I couldn't resist.

There were 5 different versions of the deck. The first edition dates from 1892/3. This joker wasn't added until the fifth edition from around 1902. Just like the decks, I don't think the joker is easy to find. However, she's jolly enough to be shown here.

FEBRUARY 2024

No new decks this month, so no jokers to choose from. However, there's always Miriam's collection to go through. Besides the folders with sheets she had a vintage -maybe even antique now- American holder with a joker figure and my cards collection embossed on the red outside cover. There she had put her special vintage or antique single jokers. During a meeting here last September three joker collectors had their way in this holder and a lot of them were sold. But there were some left and I found this one rather attractive.

When I scanned the joker I saw that in the back design the name of the maker was printed: Piatnik Nandor es Fiai. This was the Hungarian branch of the Austrian company of F. Piatnik & Sons. This branch was active between 1896 and 1949, when it was nationalized by the Hungarian government.

According to the WWPCM site this joker was used from 1910 on and has seen different variations since. I think that this version is probably one from the 1920's.

MARCH 2024

Again no new decks this month, so gain I went to Miriam's collection and took out a random holder. It was the "Women" one, so there were plenty of scarcely dressed pin-up jokers, but enough more decent ones too. And this modern joker is one of them. I've always liked the deck. Not only for the nice Art Nouveau like designs by Otto Benz for the courts and the 3 different jokers, but also for the chosen colours with nice gold and bronze tones and delicate red accents. From the three jokers I chose this one, because it's the only one on which the word joker has been woven into the design so delicately.

If you have some knowledge of cars, you'll recognize the Renault emblem, on which her left arm seems to rest. It's there for a reason. Originally printed and  published by the VASS from Leinfelden, Germany, as an advertising deck for Renault automobiles. Two years later the VASS came with an edition under it's own name. However, on the jokers the Renault emblem was part of the design and although it could have been removed easily, for some reason they left it there.

If all goes well, next month I'll have a nice vintage French joker to show here.

APRIL 2024

An oldie from a deck, which was one of the decks I had won in the 52+Joker auction. It will be used as an addition to the present xpo about the Paris World Fair of 1900. Almost all the information about the deck can be found on this joker, exxcept for the printer. The deck is listed in the Hochman as SX17, but in the text it's mentioned that "the deck is listed in this chapter, even though it was a foreign fair, as it was made by USPC and likely published by Tom Jones for sale mainly in the United States".
The description confirmed my idea about the printer. On the ace we can read that Tom Jones was located in Denver, but that purchases or information had to go through a P.O. Box in Cincinnati, which happened to be the production place of the USPC at that time.

Next month the joker and all the other cards will be added to the Paris World Fair xpo.
I also received the Piroxloid deck of celluloid cards, which has a very nice joker, but that's already shown as sidekick of the Joker of February 2012. However, if you want to see a really striking, rare vintage French joker, see this time's Deck of the Month.

MAY 2024

We got this joker in 1998 when we bought a fortune telling deck on ebay.com. It was the only eBay at that time. There was no information given by the seller and the deck came without the box. It was a non-standard deck, based on the international pattern, with the fortunes printed in French and English. This made us conclude that the deck must have been made/published in Canada. We estimated the date as c1930, based on the back design, which reminded us of an early Mickey Mouse design. If you want to see the Black Cat deck and the back design, HERE is your chance.
As long as I've been active on eBay (Feb.1998 - Aug.2020) I have never seen this deck on offer again. I guess it's a rare deck to find.

I've always liked the deck and especially this joker, but now it's time to say goodbye to my fav black cat. I will take the deck to Turnhout next week and if it's not sold there it will be in the Bargains section soon afterwards.
Because we started this Joker of the Month section in 2004, he never got a chance to become one. So now justice is done and he gets a well deserved spot here.

 

The jokers of the month from.....

 2004  2010 2016  2022
2005 2011 2017 2023
2006 2012 2018
2007 2013 2019
2008  2014 2020
2009 2015 2021
or back to...
JOKERS