The later shape paddles are an ideal shape for use in spanking, either in leather or wood. They are rugged and only require to occasional drop of polish ( be careful near the rubber grip) to stop the timber from drying out. Store in a dry place. Holes may be drilled to increase effectiveness.
In the Basque region of France and Spain games evolved played on large courts using paddles or other implements to propel a ball toward a front wall back to the players who took turns returning the ball until a player missed and lost the point. Sometimes called Pelota Vasca, these games are the ancestors of Frontenis and Jai-alai as they are played in the Americas.
At least as early as the late 1940’s or early 1950’s a game was marketed in the USA under the name Jokari. This was a further offshoot of these type of paddle-and-ball games, but instead of using a court, the ball is attached to an elastic cord which returns it to the playing area after being hit by the player with his/her paddle. This game was sold in various forms in this country until the 1980’s. The company still exists, importing other products, but no longer produces this game.
This may be the oldest Jokari set I have encountered. It certainly looks oldest, but that could be misleading. It is of French manufacture. It seems unlikely that it would pre-date WW II, so perhaps late ’40’s? The paddles are marked: “Eskual Jokari” which means basically “Basque Jokari”. Also “La Pelote Basque sans Fronton” which translates to “The Basque ballgame without the court”. “Brevete S.G.D.C.” I believe is French patent notice. Likewise “Jeu et Marque deposes” I believe is some sort of trademark notice.