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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.
‘Aphorisms on the Kiss’ published by C. A. Solbrig, Leipzig, 1808.
Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.
Bosch Puzzle Playing Cards by Sunish Chabba, 2020.
‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.
Feminine beauty has been appreciated since prehistory.
Portraits of a Lady by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Celebrity Pin-up deck no.5513 by unknown publisher.
Classic 1940s Pulp Pin-Up covers on playing cards from China, c.2010.
Römihártya pin-up deck from Hungary.
Eroticartes with drawings by Pino Zac, 1983.
The Curator Deck with designs by Emmanuel José with suit symbols cleverly transformed into artistic designs.
Baby Dolls pinup deck designed by Willy Mayrl, published by Piatnik, 1957.
Darling pin-up playing cards designed by Heinz Villiger, c.1950s-60s.
Pin-up Rummy Playing Cards, made in Hungary, c.1970.
Bathing Beauties throughout the ages, published in Hungary, 1967.
Vanity Fair No.41 Playing Cards by the United States Playing Card Co, 1895. All the number cards have been imaginatively transformed.
‘Tease Me’ 1960s glamour pack.
A Motley Pack - transformation playing cards & ‘On The Cards’ book facsimile published by Sunish Chabba, 2019.
Hungarian pin-up deck illustrated by Imre Sebök, c.1960.
Amorous Translucent Playing Cards, French, c.1850.
Hand-drawn semi-erotic, satirical playing cards by Lautaro Fiszman ‘El Tripero’, 2002.
Translucent Playing Cards, 19th century French from the Biedermeier period
Palladin Parlour & Playing Cards by Laura Sutherland, published by Palladin Paperworks, Santa Cruz CA., 1983.
Transformation proofs from the John Nixon Scrapbook.
Transformation playing cards by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1876.
Chérie No 7022 designed by Hans & Louise Neupert, nice vibrant artwork, swinging 60s
Photographic playing cards - each face having an "art study" of a female nude, Mayall Press, Stockwell, London, c.1946.
“What the Butler Saw” playing cards depicting tasteful photography of the female body.
“Art for the Earth” Transformation Deck published by Andrew Jones Art for Friends of the Earth, c.1990.
Translucent Playing Cards made by an unknown maker, c.1850
Hollywood Stars by Maple Leaf B.V., Amsterdam, 1957
Transformed playing cards featuring satirical caricatures of political figures then in the ascendant, Paris, c.1819.
Peter Wood’s “2000Pips” transformed playing cards reveal the artist’s love of nature.
The Teddy Bear pack of playing cards created by Peter Wood, 1994
“Jeu de cartes comiques” transformation cards designed by Louis Atthalin (1784-1856) and published in 1817.
“Key to the Kingdom” - an enchanted deck - illuminated playing cards designed by Tony Meeuwissen, 1992 based around traditional rhymes and verses
Stylish playing cards featuring the glamorous, superpowered female stars of the alternate reality world of DC Comics, published by 'Forbidden Planet', 2015
Cartes Recréatives is a set of Transformed playing cards designed by Armand-Gustave Houbigant (1790-1863) and first published by Terquem et May, Metz, in 1819.
“Under the Sea” transformation playing cards, published in 2005 to raise money for the Marine Stewardship Council, an environmental charity which promotes sustainable fishing practices.
Hand-drawn transformation pack dated 1874 with the name Thomas Walters on the ace of spades.