Vargas Vanities Witch, 1953

When I did my previous post on Alberto Vargas I didn’t realise that a decade earlier he had done another classic pin-up witch.

I spotted a thumbnail size version of the above image during an internet trawl but—as is often the case—it took ages to work out exactly where the image had come from. As you can see, it turns out that it is the Jack of Hearts from the “Vargas Vanities” deck of 1953. “Vargas Vanities” decks were reprinted for years, decades in fact. First-printing decks are hard to come by, since they are such collectors’ items, so it took a while to get an original 1953 card.

Quite a bit of detail was lost when Vargas’ original artwork, a full-length pose no less, was reduced to fit on a standard playing card. I have not seen any evidence that the original artwork survives, or that this image was printed elsewhere in more detail. I have scanned it in as much detail as I can. It is still a bit blurry, but this is as good as I can get it I am afraid. If anyone spots a better version, let me know!

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