Publicity playing cards for Brasserie Belle-Vue (now part of Anheuser-Busch InBev) with original, contemporary designs by Wim Simons.
The designs were first printed on laminated melamine for DSM (a Dutch multinational active in the fields of health, nutrition and materials) to provide tensile strength to withstand rigorous play. Subsequent editions were produced on normal card for other customers, such as this example for Brasserie Belle-Vue (a Belgian Brewery).
The designer has chosen different pastel palettes for the court figures in each suit: red for spades, green for diamonds and so on, whilst the suit symbols have a modern look.
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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.
Promotional pack for a Dutch Celtic folk band which performs Irish, Scottish and Dutch folk music, c.2004.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.
Pack of cards celebrating Allied Victory in the Second World War.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
Wüst Spanish pattern c.1910 advertising Cuban ‘Tropical’ beer.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.
Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.
Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.
Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, 1938.
“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.
“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.
Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.
“Deal Winners” promotional pack for Dundas & Wilson law firm.
Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.
Asperge Kwartet published by Knorr.
Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.
Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.
Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.
Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.
Nature Quartet game published by Staatsbosbeheer, printed by Roem Speelkaarten, Kampen.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.
Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.
Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.
Investors Overseas Services, Ltd. (IOS) by A. G. Müller (Schaffhausen), c.1969.
Neerlands Glorie Kwartetspel published by Hausemann & Hötte N.V, Amsterdam, 1945.
Verkeers Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek BV, Amsterdam, 1965.
Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.