A charming and humourous angling-themed skat deck from Germany designed by graphic artist Günter Schmitz (1909 - 2002) and manufactured by VEB Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik (aka “Cœur”), c.1981. A nice touch is that the German suit symbols have dandelion leaves instead of the usual ones! Also, the double-ended courts are not exact mirror images but different at each end.
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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.
Two Black Peter games by Willy Mayrl published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne, 1950s.
Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11
Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.
“So Fängt Es An” beautifully illustrated by M. Neugebauer, published by Helingsche Verlagsanstalt, c.1950.
Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.
Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.
Bull fighting card game publshed by Naipes Comas, 1969.
Zooloo Misfitz card game designed by George Lambert for C.W. Faulkner & Co, c.1907.
The Adventures of Sport-Billy by H. Fournier, 1981.
Delightful comical deck designed by Loriot, the German cartoonist and comedian, 1973.
Sapra Studio Original playing cards featuring wild animals of S Africa, 1999.
Nature Quartet game published by Staatsbosbeheer, printed by Roem Speelkaarten, Kampen.
Botany card game published by Houlston and Wright & Henry Greenwood, c.1860.
Snap card game illustrated with animals, by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Animal Rummy by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.
Hungarian Drinking Skat, c.2004.
Schwarzer Peter the Forest and its People, illustrated by Liesel Lauterborn, 1955.
Avilude or Game of Birds published by West & Lee, Worcester, Mass, c.1880.
The Merry Game of Mr Bok and his Happy Families, promoting Bok furniture polish, 1930s.
Campaign deck for Greenpeace with drawings of penguins, seals, whales and dolphins.
‘Flora’ card game published by C.W. Faulkner, printed by Dondorf, 1903.
Animal Misfitz designed by George Lambert for Faulkner Games, c.1900.
Carousel Playing Cards commissioned by Tesco stores, 2019.
‘Friendly Felines’ playing cards designed by Azured Ox, 2017.
National Geographic Nature playing cards, 2006.
Mystic Mushrooms Playing Cards, 2018.
Gerrymanders by Globe Series of Games, c.1900.
Skat No.100 by E. Gundlach, Bielefeld, 1949.
Freddy the Fox card game published by Valentine & Sons, Ltd, c.1910.
Boxing Greats published by KickarseCards, a compilation of boxing icons in history.
Race-Cardo published by C.W. Faulkner & Co Ltd, c.1925.
Zoological Misfitz card game published by C.W. Faulkner.
Zoo Fun card game no.445 by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s.
Pocket Size Bowling card game by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s.
Animal Rummy by Warren Paper Products, c.1960s.
Papita Sport Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek, c.1975.
National Geographic: “Weird But True” kids fun fact playing cards, 2014.
Red Sea fish identification cards published in several languages by Horus of Egypt, 2005.