last update of joker
number of jokers on xpo here: 1870
DID YOU KNOW?
The most accepted explanation for the name
and the role of the JOKER is that it originates from the game of
EUCHRE. In this game two of the jacks were named Right and Left
Bower. In the USA the "Best Bower" was introduced for the first time in a deck by
Samuel Hart & Co from 1863, the "Imperial bower" used as
"highest trump card". Pictured on the right here.
Originally the game of EUCHRE or JUKER was played in the Alsace, where it was the common name for "Jack". The best bower card evolved into Joker from the American version of euchre during the 1870's and arrived in Europe along with the game of poker in the 1880's. It was gradually incorporated into the French-suited packs with 52 cards.
|by Samuel Hart & Co. New York ca 1900.|
Here are two rare advertising best bowers. The first is advertising General Electric refrigerators and the second is from a souvenir deck by the Illinois Traction System, a railroad company. Both are from the early 1900's.
Ca. 1900 the joker was also used in fortunetelling decks, although not always by that name.
The horseshoe joker was issued with the Ye Witches fortunetelling deck from 1896 and the Lifecard comes as joker in the Nile Fortunetelling deck from ca. 1910. The roodles "joker" was issued with the Game of Roodles from 1912 and the joker comes from the Revelation Fortunetelling deck from 1919.
In France and Belgium a game with a special joker became popular in the early 20th century. The game is much older though and called "NAINE JAUNE" (yellow dwarf). Here are 5 from different makers. The first is a rare one by Hemeleers van Hoeter (Brussel, c1860), the second one is by Daveluy (Bruges, c1875), the third one is by Grimaud (Paris, c1920), the fourth one is by Brepols & Dierckx Zoon (Turnhout, c1905) and the last one is by Leonard Biermans (Turnhout, Belgium c1900).
JOKER OF THE MONTH
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Latest entry: January 2018 - 2 jokers by and from John Edelson (USA)
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