Cute “Butagaz” cartoon playing cards made in Belgium by Carta Mundi for the French gas company, featuring the teddy bear mascot, c.1976.
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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.
Table tennis players in action published by La Ducale, an imprint of Grimaud, France, 1979.
Portuguese regional costumes published by the French division of Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
Tarot game pack with fantasy sci-fi artwork on the trumps published by Pocket SF, France.
A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.
Pack of cards celebrating Allied Victory in the Second World War.
Jeu de 54 cartes, completely anonymous, designed to resemble locally produced French packs.
Sirocco, nautical themed playing cards by Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Co. and designed by Nathan Oser, 2020.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920
Great Britains’s Olympic gold medallists from 1964 to 2004 published by the British Olympic Association.
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Luxurious Spanish-suited pack made by Alphonse Arnoult, Paris, France, c.1850.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.
Standard French designs adapted for children. Made by France Cartes for La Grande Récré, c.2016.
Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
Complete re-design of traditional pack into what the publishers considered to be ergonomically efficient.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating.
My late mother found these miniature cards in a skip around 50 years ago.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
La Sibylle des Salons facsimile of 19th century deck published by J M Simon, 1979.
Eurotrotter by La Ducale, c.1980s.
‘Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien’ family card game by Dondorf.
Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.
Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.
Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.
Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
Donald Duck card game © Walt Disney Productions, by Naipes Fournier, 1984.
Jeu de Quaternes ‘Rizá’
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
Polska with artwork by Katarzyna Tomala & Krzysztof Korzeniak, 2011.
“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.
“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.