September 2017



There was no time to go to any flea or antique markets, as the month was troubled by health problems. Our 19 year old cat had fallen down the stairs and twice we have been on the brink of a last farewell, but fortunately we postponed that decision twice too. In total it took about 6 weeks, but now he has fully recovered and is hopping around again. A week before the IPCS convention it became clear that Miriam wasn't up to it and Joop's presence at home was more important than at the convention. So for the first time in years Joop didn't attend. Fortunately there's Facebook, so we got a whiff of the convention and it was nice to see many familiar faces there. Oh well, next year the convention will be held in Leinfelden, Germany, and we'll give it another shot then. 

So one would think that our new decks had to come from the internet and indeed we got some nice decks from eBay, the Dutch auction site and a Kickstarter project. Worth mentioning are a nice non-standard double deck, published by Pomegranate and the Female Factory deck from Australia. A negative experience was the Pipmen project, that I had backed at Kickstarter. When the reward for that arrived this month, the uncut sheet was okay, just like the Pipmen deck, but the Pipmen World deck, although it was sealed, was missing the Jack of Clubs. The project was initiated by the Elephant Playing Cards company, also from Australia, so I contacted them about this and they said they would check their own deck (?) and then never send any reply. So much for their customer friendliness. However, the deck was printed in Taiwan by the Legends Playing Cards Company and that company was more forthcoming. They offered to send me the missing card, so I hope that I'll have a complete deck again soon.

But it wasn't the internet that brought this deck. Instead, it was one of the 2 items that we got from the convention that we didn't attend. Our friend Jetty brought us one of the menu's from the convention dinner, specially designed by Elaine Lewis and another friend won a deck for us at the convention auction. The menu was a nice addition, because we already have the menu from the previous convention in London, also designed by EL. The deck arrived in time to claim its place here. 
Although we knew that the deck was in used condition, we were very keen to add it to our collection. Not only because we love the way in which the courts are designed, nor because it's a extremely rare deck, but because it's part of a "series" of two decks and we already have the sister deck, which was our Deck of the Month in June 2009.

The decks are known as Film Star I and Film Star II. Both decks were printed by De La Rue & Co. and published in 1933. Both decks were obviously create by the same designer, as they show the same style and combination of drawn clothing and photo's of the head of a famous movie star from those days. In both decks the kings and queens are crowned. The only difference is that in the Film Star I deck was published to show film stars that were under contract with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio and that this deck shows film stars from the Paramount studio. 


I didn't give short bio's of the film stars in the first deck and I will not do that here either. Except for Marlene Dietrich I had never heard of the other three queens, but finding their info on Google was really easy. I'm sure you will not have any trouble finding it too...... if you're interested in their history.


In the Film Star I deck the jack of diamonds shows Laurel & Hardy, but there Stan Laurel is on the top side of the double image and Oliver Hardy on the bottom side. In this deck each member of the Marx Brothers has his own individual card, although I can't recall that -maybe with the exception of Groucho Marx- they have ever made a movie in which they alone were the star.
So it feels a bit cheap, as if Paramount didn't have any other stars worth showing here. And now that the name of Groucho Marx was dropped, did you notice that his first name is misspelled here: GroNcho. I guess that the designer got the names written on a piece of paper and read the U as an N.


In Film Stars I all the jacks wore a hat, a drawn one or one that is part of the photo. Here only Harpo (JC) isn't wearing one. Maybe because he's already wearing a wig. Zeppo here above got a drawn small high hat.


Crowns and hats, just like the index and small suit sign, break the outline of the image, but for us the most attractive parts are the drawn clothing and background. Simple designs in solid red, green and yellow, with a little bit of black. They give the images a cheerful look.
The back design shows an old-time movie theatre with an organist accompanying a love scene on the screen.


The deck consists of 52 cards, a bridge score card and the Bimbo joker, just as rarely seen as the deck.

This deck is in a much more used condition than our Film Star I deck, but......... it came in the original box.