Eyecatching Calavera death-skull themed playing cards designed by Jirs Huygen from Antwerp for Cartamundi as part of a new range aimed at the teenage and young adult market, 2015. The white, turquoise and orange colour scheme with bold black skull motifs, and suit symbols as multi-faceted jewels, produce a striking play on the Mexican festive theme of death and the cycle of life.
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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.
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.
The Bristol Pack, an exhibition of playing cards designed by Bristol artists, 2005.
Norwegian Troll Cards published by Aune Forlag of Trondheim, c.2000.
Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.
Caperucita Roja card game published by H. Fournier, 1981.
Pulgarcito (Tom Thumb) card game published by H Fournier, 1981.
Sleeping Beauty card game published in France, c.1980s.
Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.
Fairy Tales quartet game by F.X. Schmid, Munich, 1960.
Märchen-Quartett (Fairy Tales) illustrated by J. P. Werth and published by J. W. Spear & Söhne, c.1915.
Fairy Tales quartet designed by Annemarie Gramberg, published by Vereinigte Altenburger und Stralsunder Spielkarten-Fabriken AG, 1955.
Fairy Legend Misfitz published by C W Faulkner & Co Ltd, c.1908.
World of Harry Potter playing cards produced by Winning Moves under Waddingtons Number 1 brand, 2019.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Bicycle Cybertech playing cards inspired by cyberpunk genre, illustrated by Jamie Meza, 2019.
“Naipes Criollos” Gaucho playing cards, 1995.
Naipes Cardón designed by Mario Luis Rivero depicting traditional Argentine culture and identity, 2002.
Naipes “Martín Fierro” based on the epic poem by José Hernandez.
Fairy Tales published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1903.
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005.
Gunfighters playing cards from the Wild West Series by SPCC, 2018.
Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.
Emoticon playing cards designed by Buy Design Studios, 2016.
Austrian Folklore deck first published by Piatnik in 1934.
Bharata Playing Cards - Series 2, based on Indian folk art, published by Sunish Chabba, 2018.
Lego Batman Movie playing cards, 2017
‘Stars Play’ card set published by Monty Gum, Leiden, 1988.
Pinocchio card game published by Pepys Games, 1940.
“007 Die Another Day” James Bond themed playing cards, 2002.
Pinocchio fairy tale playing cards illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev for Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Film Stars from the 1960s with photography by Sam Levin.
Calavera playing cards designed by Jirs Huygen for Cartamundi, 2015
Harry Potter Hogwarts playing cards, c.2016.
Bharata Major Arcana Tarot by Ishan Trivedi & Sunish Chabba, 2018. Inspired by Indian art forms.
Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier... card game published by Pepys Games, 1956.
Moviestars from the golden age of cinema by Offason AB of Sweden, c.2000s.
Jeu des Provinces de France published by Éditions Dusserre, 1979.
Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.