There are jokers which are depicted holding a small stick with a joker head on it. This baton was used in the old days by jesters who were hired to amuse the courts. It was often shaped after the owner, complete with fool's cap and bells.
Once upon a time there was a King who gave his jester a baton like this and told him that he should keep it until he found a greater jester who surpassed him in foolishness. Then he should hand over the baton to him. A few years later the King became seriously ill and the jester went to visit him. His master told him that he was going to pass away soon. "Where will the journey take you?" the jester asked and the King answered "far, far away". "And when will you be coming back? In a month maybe?" the jester asked. "No" The jester tried again "in a year?". "No". "When then" the jester urged. "Never!" said the King. "What preparations did you make for the journey" the jester wanted know. "None whatsoever". "But have you organized a good reception then?" "NO". "What", said the jester, "you're going away forever and haven't prepared anything! Here, take my baton..... you're a bigger fool than I am".
In this xpo we'll only show jokers that represent such a fool's baton..........
This first series of four comes from Germany and was printed and published by the Vereinigte Münchener Spielkartenfabriken G.m.b.H. F.X. Schmid. This type of joker was in use from ca. 1920 until today. They often come with standard patterned decks.
Another manufacturer from Germany, the Vereinigte Altenburger & Stralsunder Spielkartenfabriken (ASS), has used a similar type of joker for the last 100 years too. Here below a few examples from ca. 1900 until 2000. There are many variations, with differences in font type, stars, color, outline or number of the word Joker.
There are double-imaged versions, advertising versions and the last one here below was printed by the ASS for the Karo Spielkarten Stuttgart in 1993.
But manufacturers from other countries have occasionally also used this type of joker.....
Australia Poland South Africa
Germany Netherlands ?
Poland France (?)
last update: 1/9/2009