In our Xpo's we don't usually show other decks or cards than those that we have in our own collection. However, we do make exceptions!
In this case, Barney Townshend from the UK had send us scans of the jokers that come with the Karl Gerich decks in his collection. As these decks were only published in very limited edition, sometimes limited to 6 copies only, you can imagine that these jokers are VERY rarely seen. So we asked Barney, if he wouldn't mind sharing all of them with the rest of the world.......and......here they are!

We'll give the floor to Barney:

"I know only a little about Karl himself. I know that he began making his first decks when still at school. He doesn't make paper, but otherwise every stage of playing card production is his own; from design to etching, printing, cutting, hand colouring, ageing and protection, and finally making the boxes.
    All his decks are numbered and named. One of his last decks, number 37, was the commission to make the EPCS (English Playing Card Society) 10th anniversary transformation deck. This must have been a huge undertaking for him. The limited edition was 72 decks, plus some proof decks, and a small unknown number of extra post-production un-numbered decks, that strictly he should not have made !  All his previous decks had been produced in just small numbers.
    He also made quite a few original studies of court cards, around 300-400mm x 200-300mm, uncut prints, made in the same way, and hand coloured, some of which were hung in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which is about as high as you can get in the living art world. These were images that were never made into card decks. I am fortunate to have three of these framed, although not the Academy hung ones.
    Shortly after making the EPCS deck he had a complete mental breakdown and has not worked at anything since, a real tragedy. It's so sad that someone with such a talent had little more than a decade as a well respected playing card maker. Who knows what he might have produced. It does mean though, that his limited work is all highly valued.
    My Karl Gerich collection is growing, but I am missing many of his early decks prior to No22, and also No36."

***I should be happy for anyone with any of his artwork / decks for sale to contact me***


   Cartes Indiennes                 King Harry                            Bath           

Beautiful Bath                        Rouenais                            Rouenais B     

Patience Indien        Lettische Patience       Cartes Turques           

             Victoria                        Aquae Sulis                    Polonaise            

 Mayday              Merry Andrew             Great Mogul

"Deck 16 Patience Indien has another card, which whilst not strictly named a joker is very similar in style to jokers in other decks. And deck 28 Mayday also has another card that is not strictly a joker but in the style of a joker. This one is honouring someone who must have been one of Karl's heros maybe......Steve Davis, world snooker champion 1989".


Deck 15 Trappola Francaise has a main joker and 2 extra jokers.



1/ There are two more Karl Gerich jokers to be seen at the "World Xpo" as Barney's "favourites", but it's actually our choice. He asked us to choose one from the scans that he had send and we each did one.

2/ We'll add 1 new joker here ourselves. It's from the Nr. 12 deck, based on the Dondorf Rhineland Pattern:

3/ Also we'll show a few examples of jokers, shown above, but with definite colour differences.


But, as Barney says: "You mention colour differences. I don't think he did any two decks the same. I certainly have a couple of duplicates and proof decks which all have colour differences."


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 last update: 1/02/2006