the queen of spades, part 3: family B

picture of the queen of spades 'B' family standard
Figure 1

The queen labelled “Figure 1” is the most prominent example of the second spade queen design family within my collection. I have three decks that feature exact copies of this design, all of them tourism decks (from Australia, Saskatchewan, and Costa Rica).

The common features of this family are an upturned right eyebrow (her right, not ours; figure 2); a waving hand and tri-divided shield with block-fill on the one side, a single graphic image on the upper-half of the opposite site, and a patterned-fill on the lower-half (figure 3); a triangle above the horizontal bar in the middle division section (figure 4), and a strip of spades within the horizontal bar (figure 4).

Queen of Spades detail (head and crown)
Figure 2
Queen of Spades detail (shield, hand, and flower)
Figure 3
Queen of Spades detail (middle division section)
Figure 4
I have three variations on the B family in my collection which could be categorized as belonging to a sub-family. They all feature the same modifications to the standard depicted above: the triangle in the division is empty, the patterned section of the shield if filled with lines instead of a grid, the curlicue designs on the breastplate are much simpler, the spade is missing from the brooch, the cuff is coloured red, and the thumb and index finger make a loose V shape.
picture of a spade queen in the 'B' family
Figure 4
Queen of Spades
Figure 5
queen of spades
Figure 6

Figure 4 features a spade on the shield, although the other two cards I have in this sub-family feature a fleur-de-lis’, like the standard. Figure 4 also uses a light-blue colour in many areas that, on other cards, are black. Above the collar we also see the suggestion of an ear lobe.

Figure 5 is from a miniature deck, and is a very close copy of figure 4. Some subtle changes are: the breastplate is oriented lower on the dress (closer to the division bar), the tips on collar are less rounded, and the V shape on the palm is tighter. The face also looks more worried to me.

Although I classify figure 6 as belonging to the same sub-family as those pictured above, there are many differences in design. The staff is more reminiscent of the ‘A’ family than the other ‘B’ family staffs are. The spades in the horizontal division bar are alternating right-side-up and upside-down, rather than all facing left or all facing right. The collar on the neck is less severe/detailed. The crown features very different ornamentation. The shield is missing its gold rim on the upper edge. And the expression on the face is mischievous, rather than upset or worried.


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