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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.
Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.
Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.
Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.
“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.
Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.
Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.
Forfeits party card game by Merit Games, J & L Randall Ltd, c.1950.
Pranks & Mimics for the Party, 1950s.
Christmas Playing Cards published by Novelty Playing Cards, Syracuse, New York, 1986.
Playing cards were traditionally sold inside paper wrappers, which were usually thrown away.
Delightful comical deck designed by Loriot, the German cartoonist and comedian, 1973.
Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.
Hungarian Drinking Skat, c.2004.
One Penny Card Games, 1920s.
One Penny Card Games, 1900-1910, mostly anonymous 'Snap' games and made in Germany.
Ups and Downs humorous card game published in UK by A. N. Myers, c.1885.
Inspector card game published by W F Jackson & Sons, 1940s.
A Royal Game featuring Queen Victoria’s children and extended family, published by A. Collier, London, c.1896.
Biff! Bang!! Wallop!!! family card game published by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, 1939.
In 1932, a patent was granted to Colin Hart and George Franklin for a leather case in the form of a book cover for playing cards.
Patience Cards and their Boxes by Tony Hall.
Capilettor cartoon playing cards published by VASS, Leinfelden, 1978.
Who’s Who or Food for Thought, a wartime card game, c.1939.
A collection of 24 cigar bands with miniature playing cards.
101 Dalmatas by Naipes Fournier, 1995,
Humorous dog-themed Black Peter game illustrated by Willy Mayrl, c.1960.
Animal Misfitz designed by George Lambert for Faulkner Games, c.1900.
Snap card game published in UK by Globe (Oppenheimer und Sulzbacher), late 19th century.
Klutz Card Deck with comic courts.
Bicycle Emotions playing cards with custom emotions on the courts to help you bluff at cards, 2013.
Pack of 52 hand-drawn Jokers.
My wife and I have recently commissioned a unique pair of stained glass windows for our home.
The final page of material relating to playing cards from British periodicals.
Some further material relating to cards from nineteenth and twentieth century periodicals.
Zoological Misfitz card game published by C.W. Faulkner.
Neues Frag- und Antwortspiel (new question and answer game) from Germany.
‘Cat Chaos Celebrity Edition’ card game by Ginger Fox Ltd., 2017.
Chicken Playing Cards designed by Susan Krupp, 2017.
Happy Families by Norvic Mill, c.1920s.