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Published September 28, 2017 Updated August 20, 2022

August der Starke

‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985.

1985 Germany Altenburger Spielkartenfabrik Günter Schmitz Royalty Add to Collection

August der Starke und seine Zeit designed by German painter and graphic artist Günter Schmitz (1909 - 2002) focusing on the life and times of Augustus II the Strong (1670 - 1733). The joker depicts court jester Joseph Fröhlich (1694 - 1754). Günter Schmitz worked mainly in commercial art and illustration. He also designed Angler Skat & Hunting Themed Skat

‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985
‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985 ‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz, 1985

Above: ‘August der Starke und seine Zeit’ designed by Günter Schmitz and manufactured by VEB Altenburg, 1985. This is the German-suited edition, with 32 cards + 1 extra card. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

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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