Persian Miniatures playing cards, made in Hungary c.1990.
Miniature paintings add visual imagery to a literary plot by blending artistic and poetic languages, making it more enjoyable and easier to understand. In these attractive playing cards the 4 jacks are horsemen hunters. The queens appear with courtiers or lovers offering gifts. The kings are seated on daises beneath canopies and the four aces depict scenes of courtship and love. Overall this makes a delightful deck of cards!
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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.
Römihártya pin-up deck from Hungary.
Persian Miniatures, made in Hungary c.1990.
Pin-up Rummy Playing Cards, made in Hungary, c.1970.
Hungarian Drinking Skat, c.2004.
Facsimile of ‘Wilhelm Tell’ Hungarian deck by Salamon Antal, Keczkemét, 1860.
Bathing Beauties throughout the ages, published in Hungary, 1967.
Hungarian pin-up deck illustrated by Imre Sebök, c.1960.
Gold plated souvenir playing cards from the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel in Dubai.
Qajar Dynasty playing cards, Iran, 19th century.
“Dvouhlavé Hrací Karty” (Czech Seasons playing cards) made by Obchodní Tiskárny, c.1980.
“Les Artisans Tunisiens” Jeu de Sept Familles published by Éditions de la Mediterranée, Alpha S.A., Tunis
‘Ronia’ Genoese Pattern made in Hungary for the Dutch market, c.1970
Piatnik & Söhne “Industrie und Glück” Tarok c.1905-1910.
Artex A/30 brand for Turkey, 1980s.
Arabic playing cards designed by Evy Maros & Mourad Boutros, c.1990
“David Robert” playing cards with artwork after Robert's Sketches in Egypt and Nubia.
Luxus No.123 Hungarian seasons pattern manufactured in Hungary by the Playing-Card Factory and Printing House, c.1970.
Non-standard playing cards produced by Artex (Budapest) for the Gdynia-America Line, Poland, c.1958.
Artex Quadrilato No.333 for Tunisia
No.111 by Artex is a copy of Waddingtons standard designs, c1962.
During the 19th century a system of fortune telling arose in Europe using unnumbered, pictorial cards depicting popular imagery with subtitles in several languages.
Fortune Tellers use the Hafez Cards by interpreting the Hāfez poems printed on the card backs when cards are selected randomly by their consultants.
The court cards in this delightful Art Deco pack represent persons in various colourfully embroidered folkloric costumes. Designed by Hungarian artist Ilona Radnainé Szöredi.
Karl Gerich's “Patience Indien No.16”, published in 1991, is adapted from Grimaud's “Whist Indienne” (c.1900). The double-ended courts are dressed in Arab garb.
Representing Iranian culture and history and intended for a Persian market, these playing cards were designed by V. Romanowski de Boncza, ordered by the Iranian government playing card monopoly at the time and printed by Thomas De la Rue & Co., Ltd, c.1937.
Hungarian 'Seasons' playing cards made by G. Berger, Alsina 373, Buenos Aires c.1940
32 cards Hungarian "Seasons" pattern, with Argentinean tax stamp and trade mark of six-pointed star on 7 of bells, c.1955-60.
Playing Cards in Tunisia. Chkobba is one of the most popular card games in Tunisia, mainly played by men in coffee shops but also played at home by men and women alike.
Anonymous Moroccan Playing Cards for Royal Air Maroc airlines and others...
Chaudsoleil Red Wine advertising playing cards from Morocco.
The Hungarian Seasons pattern. With the Hungarian deck you can play a lot of card games. Every village has its own game and rules with this card deck.
Tungsram Playing Cards, Art Deco playing cards from Hungary
These two uncoloured, uncut sheets of early Moorish playing cards were formerly preserved in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona.
Nã'ib, the game of lieutenants... these cards are amongst the earliest Arabic playing cards extant.
Playing Cards have been around in Europe since the 1370s. Some early packs were hand painted works of art which were expensive and affordable only by the wealthy. But as demand increased cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone...
Balázs Pál Nagy Tell 3306
Balázs Pál Nagy's Playing Cards
Hadsegélyzö Kártya ('War Aid Pack' or 'War Aid Cards') Nr. 63 designed by Leo Kober and first published by Piatnik, Budapest, in 1917.
Spanish national pattern by A. Camoin & Cie, Casablanca & Marseille
Moroccan cards with the legend 'Casablanca'.