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Published June 08, 2016 Updated February 27, 2023

Le Jeu des Alliés

“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945.

1945 Belgium Mesmaekers Commemorative Political Wartime Add to Collection

The court cards in this patriotic commemorative pack manufactured just after WW2 by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, depict characters from the four allied countries during WW2. The kings are C. de Gaulle, J. Stalin, F. D. Roosevelt and W. Churchill. The queens are allegorical figures of each nation and the valets are soldiers. The aces are designated with the number 1 and each displays the shield of an allied country. The joker is a caricature of Adolf Hitler wearing a dunce hat.

“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945

Above: “Le Jeu des Alliés” lithographic printed by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945. 52 cards + joker in box, gilded corners. The joker, printed in b/w only, depicts Adolf Hitler wearing a dunce hat and waving a pennant with the legend "Le Fou". The back shows V signs on blue or red background.

“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945

“Le Jeu des Alliés” manufactured by Mesmaekers N.V., Turnhout, 1945

Above: a edition with blue backs, also including the box which reads 'Cartes de Luxe' along the side. From the collection of John Sidney Copp (1915-2004).


Above: Aviator decks manufactured by the United States Playing Card Company were donated to the Red Cross and American POWs during WW2.

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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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