Luxury playing cards published by Miro Company (Paris) for ‘Ciel de France’ featuring designs by Jacques Branger, c.1948. The backs show the night sky with a navy blue background and gold stars.
Note from Roddy Somerville
I have a version of this pack with exactly the same courts but marked ‘Esquire’ on the Ace of Spades. There are only two indices instead of four (including on the Joker), no vertical line to the left of K, Q, and J, a different back design, and full gilt edges. Unfortunately I have no box for this pack.
I speculate that these designs by Jacques Branger were used for several advertising packs. ‘Ciel de France’ (founded 1946) and ‘Esquire’ (founded 1933) are of course both magazines or periodicals. It would be interesting to know whether any other Aces of Spades exist with names on them other than these two. Incidentally, ‘Ciel de France’ ceased publication in 1949 so the date of publication would presumably be before then.
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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