‘Cartes Moyen-Age’ by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1875
Daveluy produced these lovely double-ended fantasy “Historical Costume” playing cards based on the popular theme of the Middle Ages in several editions, with slightly different design details, starting from around 1850. Earlier versions had no corner pips on the Aces and the Kings had no crowns on their suit signs. Some of these designs, or their style, suggesting a romantic preoccupation with the past, influenced some of the Turnhout manufacturers who subsequently published similar designs with different titles or as standard patterns. As with many of Daveluy's designs, the cards show figures against a landscape background which the later copies omitted.
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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.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.
Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.
In this newsletter we’re looking at how fashion and costume is represented through playing card art since the 14th century through to today.
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards by Sunish Chabba, 2020.
Spyscape espionage, surveillance and cryptography themed playing cards, 2018.
‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.
‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.
Classic 1940s Pulp Pin-Up covers on playing cards from China, c.2010.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.
‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.
Jeu “Gerente” - published by Moncar in 1983 in the “Cartes de Fantasie” series.
Fairy Snap by Norvic Mill, c.1920s.
Middle Ages by Germano & Cª, (Litografia Maia),
Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955.
Spear’s “Fancy Dress Ball” card game with children dressed in period costumes, 1930s.
Bathing Beauties throughout the ages, published in Hungary, 1967.
Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.
World of Harry Potter playing cards produced by Winning Moves under Waddingtons Number 1 brand, 2019.
Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing video game.
“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018.
Bicycle Cybertech playing cards inspired by cyberpunk genre, illustrated by Jamie Meza, 2019.
Age of Dragons by Anne Stokes, 2017.
Anne Stokes Collection playing cards, 2010.
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005.
Mary Queen of Scots and other Tudor period dignitaries, published by Piatnik, 1990.
Bharata Playing Cards - Series 2, based on Indian folk art, published by Sunish Chabba, 2018.
Lego Batman Movie playing cards, 2017
Naipes "Minifusor" tipo Español published by Difusora S.A., c.1980.
Star Kings playing cards inspired by space opera, 2017.
Harry Potter Hogwarts playing cards, c.2016.
Wizard of Oz card game published by Pepys, 1940,
“Fashion Face Off” card game illustrated by Erin Petson for Laurence King Publishing, c.2011.