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Bjørn Wiinblad

Bjørn Wiinblad (1918-2006) was a Danish painter, designer and ceramics artist.

Box from Bjørn Wiinblad playing cards published by Piatnik, late 1970s

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.

Bjørn Wiinblad playing cards published by Piatnik, late 1970s

Above: Bjørn Wiinblad playing cards published by Piatnik (Nr.2436), late 1970s.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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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.


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