Danish artist and designer Bjorn Wiinblad (1918-2006), who is probably best known for his ceramic work for Rosenthal and Nymolle porcelain company, designed these colourful playing cards which were produced by Piatnik in the late 1970s. The four figures shown on the box (left) are full-length, but the playing cards inside the box, except the three Jokers, are double-ended designs. Also, the colour schemes are subtly different for each suit.
Amongst various exhibitions and awards, Bjørn Wiinblad was named Man of The Year in New York in 1985 and was awarded the American-Scandinavian Foundation Cultural Prize in 1995.
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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.
Elegant, elongated cards designed by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.
Rules and regulations that guided prison life in America’s most notorious prison.
Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines. The courts are named after Biblical characters.
Two Black Peter games by Willy Mayrl published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, 1950s.
Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.
Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.
Schwarzer Peter no.964 published by Josef Hohlweg, Vienna, early 20th century.
Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.
Le Jeu du Destin Antique, originally published by Grimaud in XIX c., republished many times since...
Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.
Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950.
Baby Dolls pin-up deck designed by Willy Mayrl, published by Piatnik, 1957.
Facsimile of ‘Wilhelm Tell’ Hungarian deck by Salamon Antal, Keczkemét, 1860.
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia and is the world's third-oldest airline still in operation, having been founded in November 1920.
Humorous dog-themed Black Peter game illustrated by Willy Mayrl, c.1960.
The Woman’s Hour playing cards published by David Westnedge, 1996.
Facsimile of patriotic 1878 Tyrolean playing cards published by Piatnik in 1992.
Notgeld - Emergency Money - was in rare cases issued on playing cards.
Austrian Folklore deck first published by Piatnik in 1934.
“Goal” Fußball Spielkarten manufactured by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne Wien, c1930s.
Mary Queen of Scots and other Tudor period dignitaries, published by Piatnik, 1990.
“Cosmopolitan” № 2121 playing cards designed by Russian artist Valeri Mishin, 1996
Piatnik’s ‘Bourgeois Tarot’ in a version published in 1987 with nice quality images, especially the double-ended trump cards.
Non-standard French-suited cards published by Ferd Piatnik & Sõhne, Vienna, c.1940s.
Skat deck for Austria’s excellent wines, Österreichischer Weinwirtschaftsfonds, c.1965
Churchill ‘Walking with Destiny’ playing cards published by the Imperial War Museum.
New Jacob’s Bible Cards published by Lion Playing Cards, Tel Aviv
‘Vienna pattern’ derived from archaic Lyon pattern by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne A.G., c.1926-1934.
Willie Rushton’s “Pack of Royals” featuring caricatures of the Royal Family, 1995.
Jacob’s Bible Cards published by Lion Playing Cards Factory Ltd, Tel Aviv, since mid-1950s.
Piccadilly Patience by Piatnik, c.1955
Piatnik’s Rococo style playing cards issued as “Rococo Patience”, “Luxus-Patience”, “Empire Patience”, “White Horse Patience”, “Patience-Whist No.140”, “Mini Patience” and “Lady Patience”
Kaiser Jubiläum Imperial playing cards made in Austria by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna.
“Baroque” by Ferd Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, reflecting a bygone era of fashion.
Ferd. Piatnik produced a very large range of cards with many different standard and non-standard patterns. This is a survey of his standard English output.
Piatnik’s “Popular Playing Cards” No.257
Salzburger pattern by Ferd. Piatnik & Söhne, Vienna
Transformation cards designed and engraved by Vincenz Raimund Grüner, Vienna, 1809
Promotional deck for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) printed by Piatnik, 1996.
Designed by Cesare Asaro to simulate decks from the 1700s or earlier, the Tarot of Musterberg is based on the traditional Tarot de Marseille but with an imaginary historical background.