Monday, May 24, 2010

What are the storys behind playing cards?

i know that one is "the king of hearts killed himself because the queen of hearts made him tarts and gave them to the jack of spades" i heard this from a friend and the illustration on the cards back it up. so i was wondering if anyone knew the rest of the storys

What are the storys behind playing cards?
The fanciful design and manufacturer's logo commonly displayed on the Ace of Spades began under the reign of James I of England, who passed a law requiring an insignia on that card as proof of payment of a tax on local manufacture of cards. Until August 4, 1960, decks of playing cards printed and sold in the United Kingdom were liable for taxable duty and the Ace of Spades carried an indication of the name of the printer and the fact that taxation had been paid on the cards. The packs were also sealed with a government duty wrapper. Though specific design elements of the court cards are rarely used in game play, a few are notable. The Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts, and King of Diamonds are drawn in profile, while the rest of the courts are shown in full face, these cards are commonly called "one-eyed". When deciding which cards are to be made wild in some games, the phrase "acey, deucey, one-eyed jack" (or "deuces, aces, one-eyed faces") is sometimes used, which means that aces, twos, and the one-eyed jacks are all wild. The King of Hearts is shown with a sword behind his head, making him appear to be stabbing himself, and the axe held by the King of Diamonds is behind his head with the blade facing toward him. This leads to the nickname "suicide kings". The Jack of Diamonds is sometimes known as "laughing boy". The King of Diamonds is armed with an axe while the other three kings are armed with swords. The King of Diamonds is sometimes referred to as "the man with the axe" because of this. This is the basis of the trump "one-eyed jacks and the man with the axe". The Ace of Spades, unique in its large, ornate spade, is sometimes said to be the death card, and in some games is used as a trump card. The Queen of Spades appears to hold a scepter and is sometimes known as "the bedpost queen." There are theories about who the court cards represent. For example, the Queen of Hearts is believed by some to be a representation of Elizabeth of York — the Queen consort of King Henry VII of England. The United States Playing Card Company suggests that in the past, the King of Hearts was Charlemagne, the King of Diamonds was Julius Caesar, the King of Clubs was Alexander the Great, and the King of Spades was the Biblical King David (see King (playing card)). However the Kings, Queens and Jacks of standard Anglo-American cards today do not represent anyone in particular. They stem from designs produced in Rouen before 1516, and by 1540–67 these Rouen designs show well executed pictures in the court cards with the typical court costumes of the time. In these early cards the Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts, and King of Diamonds are shown from the rear, with their heads turned back over the shoulder so that they are seen in profile. However, the Rouen cards were so badly copied in England that the current designs are gross distortions of the originals.
Reply:There are theories about who the court cards represent. For example, the Queen of Hearts is believed by some to be a representation of Elizabeth of York — the Queen consort of King Henry VII of England. The United States Playing Card Company suggests that in the past, the King of Hearts was Charlemagne, the King of Diamonds was Julius Caesar, the King of Clubs was Alexander the Great, and the King of Spades was the Biblical King David (see King (playing card)).





King of Spades: David


King of Hearts: Charles (possibly Charlemagne, or Charles VII, where Rachel would then be the pseudonym of his mistress, Agn├Ęs Sorel)


King of Diamonds: Julius Caesar


King of Clubs: Alexander the Great


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