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.
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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.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.
Sirocco, nautical themed playing cards by Riffle Shuffle Playing Card Co. and designed by Nathan Oser, 2020.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920
Set of caricatures and cartoons in aid of a Polish children’s charity. c.2000.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
Fortune-telling pack with divinatory rhymes in Polish, c.1985.
Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Römihártya pin-up deck from Hungary.
Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.
Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.
Polska with artwork by Katarzyna Tomala & Krzysztof Korzeniak, 2011.
“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.
“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.
Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.
“Deal Winners” promotional pack for Dundas & Wilson law firm.
Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.
Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.
Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.
‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.
Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.
Persian Miniatures, made in Hungary c.1990.
Investors Overseas Services, Ltd. (IOS) by A. G. Müller (Schaffhausen), c.1969.
Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.
Electric Snap by the South Wales Electricity Board, 1950s.
Playtex - le jeu de la beauté et du destin, Grimaud, 1971.
Pin-up Rummy Playing Cards, made in Hungary, c.1970.
Jeu de Memoire card game promoting Véritable Chaumes cheese from the village of St Antoines in south west France.
Two miniature card games promoting Vim Scouring Powder and Sunshine Soap, 1930s.
Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.
Hungarian Drinking Skat, c.2004.
Facsimile of ‘Wilhelm Tell’ Hungarian deck by Salamon Antal, Keczkemét, 1860.
Cow & Gate ‘Snap’ featuring Cow & Gate Baby Milk Food, 1935.
Naval and Military Families produced by Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg, printed by Ernst Nister of Nuremberg, c.1905-10.
Blue Brand Snap Up published by Van den Berghs probably late 1920s.