Playing Card Tattoos Adrian MI
Cedar Springs, MI
Playng Card tattoos
Playing Card Tattoos - Playing cards are often featured in a multitude of tattoo designs. And the tattoo designs make full use of many of the symbols to be found in a deck of cards, all the way from the Ace of Spades, to the Queen of Hearts, to the 'wild' Joker. The modern pack of playing cards can be traced back to Medieval Europe, when cards were a dalliance of the rich. Printing techniques eventually made mass production possible so that playing cards became popular with common folk as well. A deck of cards consisted of 'royals' (also called 'court' cards), comprised of King, Queen and Knight (later termed 'Jack') - and number cards ranging from the 2 (deuce) to 10. The Ace, which derived from the Latin for the 'smallest coinage', took the lowest value of one. The four suits, Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs (originally cups, swords, coins and batons) came in two colours, red and black. In the 1500s, a pack became standardized to the 52 cards we have today.
The Spade was said to be the knight's spearhead. In some early decks the leaf-like motif also stood for the aristocracy. The Heart was symbol of the church, the Diamond stood for the wealthy, while the Club was the clover or acorn, both representative of the peasant. In England, these suits have held fast for more than five hundred years.
In France, the 'royals' -- the Kings and Courtiers -- were actually identified on the card as historical personages, often according to the whim of the card maker. The King of Spades was often identified as King David, and the Knave of Spades was Hector of Troy. Other contenders were Caesar as King of Diamonds, and Alexander as King of Clubs. The identity of the Queens included saints like Saint Joan, and Greek goddesses and various wives and consorts of monarchs. The Knaves included Greek heroes, Arthurian knights and aristocratic French noblemen. With the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, the popularity of the aristocracy plunged and along with it the glitter on the royals crowns -- they became no-name royals.
In the earliest card games, the King always took the highest value (10), and the Ace the lowest (1). But as early as the 14th century, the Ace could be played as the highest card, making the deuce the lowest. During the French Revolution, the game 'Ace High' became symbolic of the 'lowest classes rising above the aristocracy'.
What is so special about the Ace of Spades? Depending upon where you live in the world, the different suits of cards have different rankings, but in nearly all instances Spades are the highest ranking suit, whether you are playing Poker, Bridge or a game of Chinese Big Two or Choi Dai Di. The suits may be ranked either by alternating colour, Diamonds (lowest), followed by Clubs, Hearts, and Spades (highest), or alphabetically, Clubs (lowest), followed by Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades (once again the highest). And as the Ace is the highest ranking card, hence the...