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Published June 06, 2015 Updated April 23, 2023

Blue Playing Cards

“Blue Playing Cards” by Piatnik, 1960s, inspired by the Cubism art movement in which objects are analysed and reassembled in abstracted form

1960 Austria Piatnik Art & Design Cubism Add to Collection
“Blue Playing Cards” by Piatnik, 1960s

Piatnik’s “Blue Playing Cards” appear to be inspired by the Cubism art movement in which objects are analysed and reassembled in abstracted form, possibly even by Picasso’s Blue Period. The tilted heads add expressiveness.

“Blue Playing Cards” by Piatnik, 1960s

Above: “Blue Playing Cards” by Piatnik, 1960s.


Note from Roddy Somerville

I have a different (coloured) version of Piatnik's "Blue Playing Cards" which uses the three primary colours - blue, red, and yellow - plus black. Otherwise, the designs appear to be the same. Even the reference number on the Ace of Hearts (6593) is the same.

Did Piatnik create a multicoloured version because the totally blue one was thought to be too dull? Presumably this version also dates from the 1960s. My pack has the same blue back and is in a plain white tuck box. It has two Jokers - RS.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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