…in a deck of cards, the king of hearts is the only one without a moustache?
Now why is that?
First off, the kings in a regular deck of playing cards supposedly represent a great ruler of the past:
- King of Hearts: French King Charlemagne
- King of Clubs: Alexander the Great
- King of Diamonds: Roman Caesar Augustus
- King of Spades: David, King of Israel
Now, there seem to be different opinions towards the clean-shaven King of Hearts.
“Diamonds, clubs and spades are by association linked respectively with the corruption of wealth, war and death. In contrast, the heart as an organ is pure, open, undisguised – it does not wear artifice – hence the clean-shaven King of Hearts.”
Gail Hennessy, Rankin Park
“Most standard English playing cards used today derived from the original French models produced in the mid-16th century. For the purpose of mass production, the earliest cards were printed using woodblocks. Disfiguring occurred over the centuries as unskilled block makers distorted the original designs, resulting in hands, symbols of office and other attributes losing their meaning. Among the many distortions that took effect, the King of Hearts not only lost his mustache, but the axe he was originally holding became a sword.”
Mary Carde, Cherrybrook
I’m not really sure why…
I don’t know for sure why this is, but have you ever taken a good look at a regular deck of playing cards? I’m looking at a regular deck of playing cards right now, actually. It’s a Bicycle deck. Already I can notice some interesting things about the face cards in this particular deck of cards.
- The King of Hearts is the only one without a mustache. He also appears to be stabbing himself in the head (how sad…). The other kings all have their suit somewhere on their clothes, but not the King of Hearts (is he not proud of his suit?). He is also the only king showing two hands (what a rebel!)
- The King of Diamonds, Jack of Hearts, and Jack of Spades all have one eye showing.
- The queens are all holding flowers. The Queen of Spades is the only one holding a flower with red leaves.
- All the kings are looking to the right, except for the King of Spades.
- All the queens are looking to the right, except for the Queen of Spades.
- All the Jacks are looking to the right except for (wait for it!) the Jack of Spades….and the Jack of Clubs (hmmm….).
- The Queen of Hearts is the only queen holding the flower with her left hand (does that make her evil somehow?)
- The King of Diamonds is the only right handed king.
- The Jack of Hearts is the only right handed jack.
- The Queen of Hearts has a different flower design on her crown.
- The Jack of Hearts is the only one out of all the face cards to be holding a feather (or leaf?).
- Both the Jack of Hearts and the Jack of Spades have a mustache.
- The Queen of Clubs is the only one with her suit shown on her clothes.
The list must go on and on, but those were some that I found to be very obvious. I never really looked at a deck of cards that intently before. It was interesting and made me wish I knew more about playing cards, don’t you?
See any other difference? Do you know why the faces of cards are looking in the direction that they do?
See you next Friday!
Good Morning, Joe
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