The “Baggy Clown” Joker, wearing a sort of Onesie costume with a ruff neck collar, was used by the American Bank Note Company (c.1908-1914) in their playing cards. In or around 1908, the Standard Playing Card Company used the same Joker and also used an Ace of Spades very similar to the one used by the American Bank Note Company. After the Russell Playing Card Company took over the American Bank Note Company in 1914, it produced its Aristocrat brand and the same Joker was yet again utilized. The Joker is still used to this day by USPC in many of its advertising and special order decks. Following take-overs or acquisitions the design keeps reappearing.
Standard Playing Card Co. commenced producing playing cards in c.1890 but was acquired by United States Playing Card Company in 1894. The Company continued operating independently, as shown on the Ace of Spades and packaging.
In 1914 the American Bank Note Company's playing card division merged into the Russell Playing Card Company. In 1929 Russell Playing Card Co became a division of the United States Playing Card Company and many brands continued to be produced. At the same time. the “Baggy Clown” Joker sometimes reappears.
The same joker has also been seen in cards made by the USPCC for various customers including WH Smith in the UK. The distinctive lettering on the original American Bank Note Co jokers is seen on packs produced in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan, but to date no copies of the “Baggy Clown” Joker itself have been noted. See example►
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Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.
His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.
Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.
Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.
His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
The Encarded First Edition is a limited edition of 2,500 designed by Paul Carpenter and manufactured by the Expert Playing Card Company.
Cards slanted to the right, issued to mark George W. Bush’s second term of office.
Playing cards inspired by mysterious symbolism of secret societies as well as a tribute to the National Playing Card Co.
Monarchs luxury playing cards by Theory11, featured in the film Now You See Me.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
Rules and regulations that guided prison life in America’s most notorious prison.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
A recreated of the original 1876, No. 18, Triplicate deck by A. Dougherty by Michael Scott in 2014.
Triangle Playing Cards by Michael Scott.
Two Notched Construction Card Sets by Shackman & Co, N.Y. 1970s.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Spyscape espionage, surveillance and cryptography themed playing cards, 2018.
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.
‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.
Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.
The Curator Deck with designs by Emmanuel José with suit symbols cleverly transformed into artistic designs.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Warren Paper Products Co., Lafayette, Indiana, publishers of Built-Rite toys, games and puzzles.
Christmas Playing Cards published by Novelty Playing Cards, Syracuse, New York, 1986.
Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.
“Victory" cards celebrating U.S. participation in the Allied victory, c.1945.
The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.
Caleb Bartlett patriotic deck (reproduction), around 1835-40.
Snap card game illustrated with animals, by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Roundup card game by Whitman Publishing, 1951.
Old Maid card game by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Crazy Eights by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Animal Rummy by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Whitman 8 Card Games boxed set, 1951.
Paddington card game published in UK by Whitman.
Avilude or Game of Birds published by West & Lee, Worcester, Mass, c.1880.
In the 1970s Whitman Publishing Co. ordered a series of popular games from Hong Kong for the UK market.
Timothy Curtis Art custom Bicycle playing cards, 2018.
Hanky-Panky poker card game, California, c.1975.
RCI Playing Cards, a 20th century playing-card maker of Minneapolis, 1969-1985.
Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.
Vanity Fair No.41 Playing Cards by the United States Playing Card Co, 1895. All the number cards have been imaginatively transformed.