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The Jack of Spades

One of the defining characteristics of the standard English playing card is that each Jack takes the character of a lansquenet. That means they were foot soldiers that carried weapons like swords, halberds, and arrows and hacked their way into battle lines and souls as a means to live. In the standard English deck, the Jack of Spades carries a distinct motif in his left hand, the origins of which, no one really understands. There were many mistakes that crept into the English rendition over the ages and altered minor details of the Rouen Pattern, but this one cannot be traced. Here, the motif is preserved as a distinct detail of the English Pattern, in the tattoo on the warrior's forearms. NEXT »

Jack of Spades