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Game of Nations

The “Game of Nations” depicting caricatures of traditional costumes manufactured by McLoughlin Brothers, USA 1890s.

The “Game of Nations” is played with a 52-card deck divided into four suits representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America. These are in fact four continents rather than nations, inkeeping with other ‘Four Continent’ or Empire packs published around this time. Each ‘nation’ has 13 cards, with designs appropriate to the geographical region featured in that suit, running 2 → 10, Child, Woman, Man and Map (highest card). The court cards depict caricatures of people wearing traditional costumes from each of the four ‘nations’ in somewhat stereotyped style by today’s standards. See the Rules: English / French

The Game of Nations manufactured by McLoughlin Brothers, 1890s The Game of Nations manufactured by McLoughlin Brothers, 1890s

Above: cards from the “Game of Nations” manufactured by McLoughlin Brothers, 1890s.

Box from the Game of Nations manufactured by McLoughlin Brothers, 1890s
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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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