Many bridge players today have never heard of a trump indicator, but from the late 1800s to the early 1930s they were found at nearly every social bridge game.
Originally developed for the game of whist, trump indicators were placed on the table to help players remember what the trump suit was since there was no bidding.
Known for their whimsical, colorful designs, trump indicators are made from a variety of materials and incorporate a wide range of additional subject matter. There are porcelain clowns, wooden cartoon characters, celluloid cats, metal monkeys, and virtually any other combination of material and form one could imagine. However, the thing that all trump indicators have in common is they always display the four suit symbols: spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs and all have a mechanism that moves in order to indicate the trump suit.
The Joan Schepps Collection of trump indicators is the largest collection in North America at over 650 pieces. The Schepps Collection was donated to the Foundation for the Preservation and Advancement of Bridge (FPAB) by Joan and Elihu Schepps in 2009 and is currently housed at the ACBL Bridge Museum in Horn Lake MS.