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Belle Vue Gueuze

Promotional playing cards designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, 1960s.

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.

Promotional playing cards for Brasserie Belle-Vue designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, c.1969
Promotional playing cards for Brasserie Belle-Vue designed by Wim Simons, Belgium, c.1969

Above: promotional playing cards for Brasserie Belle-Vue designed by Wim Simons, printed by L. Biermans, Belgium, c.1969.

CREDITS & REFERENCES

Additional research by Francis Bevers.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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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.


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