- Donato De Santis
- Italy (Rome)
The largest collection of Joker playing cards consists of 8,520 cards ammassed by Tony De Santis (Italy) since 1999 after inheriting a 2,000 piece collection from the magician Fernando Riccardi (Italy). Tony's collection is unique because all the Joker images on the cards are different (not the backs of the cards as usually is the case with this type of non GWR collections). Tony promised his friend and mentor Fernando that he would continue his collection upon his death and so he did. Fernando had initiated the image in 1942 with some antique cards. Tony started to add to it, travelling to markets all over the world to find new items for his collection. Tony likes to memorise his Jokers and every week he looks at them individually for a few seconds as you would do when you memorise a poem - being a magician himself he's quite good at that. The Joker cards come in every form and shape (square, circle, fish, bone, etc.), some are only a few mm large. In his collection Tony has also Jokers from decks that have 6 Jokers and they are very rare.