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Gdynia-America Line

Non-standard playing cards produced by Artex (Budapest) for the Gdynia-America Line, Poland, c.1958.

Non-standard playing cards produced by Artex (Budapest) for the Gdynia-America Line, Poland, c.1958. The initials G.A.L. appear on the Ace of Clubs and the reverse.

playing cards for Gdynia-America Line, Poland, c.1958

Above: Non-standard playing cards produced by Artex (Budapest) for the Gdynia-America Line, Poland, 1958. English indices. The initials G.A.L. appear on the Ace of Clubs and the reverse. The motorship "Batory" was one of two diesel-powered ships completed in 1936 for the North Atlantic run of the Gdynia-America Line. Almost identical packs were produced for Polish Ocean Lines.

“Artex” was the export brand name “ARt EXport” used by Ofszet- és Játékkártyagyár és Nyomda (Playing-Card Factory and Printing House) after Piatnik pulled out of their Budapest branch. It exported playing cards and many other art products, paintings, etchings, ceramics, etc.

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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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