Chinese playing card makers, whether they be based on mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or even Macau, have a reputation for imitation and replication fused with innovation which has produced perhaps the widest variety of joker playing card designs of any single part of the world.
Designs copied in whole or part from Western classic designs are chiefly limited to the more prolific, later American, British and Belgian classic designs by the US Playing Card Company, Waddington's, Cartamundi but also encompass designs by Consolidated-Dougherty, Arrco, Hoyle, Brepols, Biermans and Ducale.
Copies such as this Chinese version of the classic “Bee No 92" poker deck marketed under the brand name BCG are clearly copies rather than fakes.
While this anonymous copy of the classic Waddington’s standing jester is a poor quality fake in which no attempt has been made at originality.
Chinese versions are often easily spotted by the poor quality printing, paper, and the custom of producing one joker card in colour and another in monochrome or even just not coloured black and white, as this Arrco inspired Chinese pair illustrate.
The later Arrco laughing head jester inspired a run of Chinese imitations with their own adaptations.
The US playing card company standing jester was copied but incorporating the colouring of the Waddington's standing jester to produce novel variations.
But not as interesting as this design which takes the jester’s face, head, and collar together with the yellow banner from the Cartamundi classic jester, applied to a Chinese original generic unicycling style design.
More Carta Mundi copies.
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Member since March 02, 2012
I have adored playing cards since before I was seven years old, and was brought up on packs of Waddington's No 1. As a child I was fascinated by the pictures of the court cards.
Over the next fifty years I was seduced by the artwork in Piatnik's packs and became a collector of playing cards.
Seeking more information about various unidentified packs I discovered the World of Playing Cards website and became an enthusiastic contributor researching and documenting different packs of cards.
I describe my self as a playing card archaeologist, using detective work to identify and date obscure packs of cards discovered in old houses, flea markets and car boot sales.
A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.
A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.
Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.
Modern designs by Italian artist Marcello Morandini using the simplest of forms and colours.
Free reinterpretation of the traditional Paris pattern courts by the artist Claude Weisbuch.
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Detailed pen and ink drawings of the major arcana by the German artist Helmut Wonschick.
Original designs by French artist Jean Vérame, with clubs replaced by four-leaf clovers to bring goo...
Secrets of the Far East playing cards featuring the designs of Violeta Monreal , Spain, c. 1991.
Ases de la pintura / Masters of painting playing cards made by Naipes Comas, Spain, c.1990.
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Playing cards in Russian life - Karty v zhizni Rossii - published by Aleksandr Lutkovskii in 2004.
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Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.