The World of Playing Cards Logo

Air India

‘Air India’ playing cards, made in India.

‘Air India’ playing cards

Special ‘Air India’ playing cards with non-standard courts in Indian attire and four decorative aces, made in India by Playwell Playing Card Co., c.1980. Playing cards were once a part of inflight complimentary items, especially on long haul flights, but are becoming rare due to cost cutting and now a part of aviation collectables. Although using only red, green and black the cards are very bold and vibrant.

‘Air India’ playing cards, made in India by Playwell Playing Card Co., c.1980

Above: ‘Air India’ playing cards, made in India by Playwell Playing Card Co., c.1980.

avatar

By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

View Articles

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.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

1930 Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Waddington’s “Silkette” Playing Cards

Cards made by John Waddington Ltd. for the Madras Club, Chennai (formerly Madras), India, c.1930.

1986 Helmsley Hotels

Helmsley Hotels

Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.

1910 C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

C.L.Wüst Poster Stamps

A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.

2015 Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Nomad Luxury Playing Cards

Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.

2000 San Playing Cards

San Playing Cards

Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.

1920 Chocolate playing cards with scenes from World War 1

Chocolate playing cards with scenes from World War 1

An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920

1985 Garuda Indonesia Airline

Garuda Indonesia Airline

Souvenir pack from Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, c.1985.

2021 Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Avengers Playing Cards by Theory11

Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.

2000 Martinique

Martinique

Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.

Beaujolais je t’aime …

Beaujolais je t’aime …

Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.

Happy Playing Cards

Happy Playing Cards

Cheerful, colourful designs on handmade paper from Nepal.

Gó Succo

Gó Succo

Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.

2005 Estonian Ethnographic Playing Cards

Estonian Ethnographic Playing Cards

Estonian national costumes and everyday items feature on this pack made in Estonia.

2002 Ganjifa™

Ganjifa™

A colourful pack of round cards with Ganjifa designs by Asha Industries, Mumbai, India, 2002.

Playing Cards from Mauritius

Playing Cards from Mauritius

Pack designed for La Maison de L’Artisanat Ltée, Mauritius, by Hervé de Cotter.

2000 Handmade playing cards

Handmade playing cards

Non-standard designs on Nepalese handmade paper for Pilgrims Book House, Kathmandu, Nepal, c.2000.

1965 El Al Airlines

El Al Airlines

Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines. The courts are named after Biblical characters.

1915 Playing cards for the Bombay Market

Playing cards for the Bombay Market

An interesting pack of playing cards with illustrated Indian aces made "Specially for the Bombay Market", c.1915.

2005 Korchma Taras Bulba

Korchma Taras Bulba

The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine

1962 Folk Cards

Folk Cards

Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One

IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.

1990 Irish Legendary

Irish Legendary

Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990.

Havermout Kwartetspel

Havermout Kwartetspel

“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.

Werbung die Sticht

Werbung die Sticht

“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.

1920 Periquito y Tontín Dominoes

Periquito y Tontín Dominoes

Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.

2012 Dundas & Wilson Deal Winners

Dundas & Wilson Deal Winners

“Deal Winners” promotional pack for Dundas & Wilson law firm.

Happy Gas Families

Happy Gas Families

Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.

1989 My Goodness my Guinness

My Goodness my Guinness

Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.

Hamm’s Beer

Hamm’s Beer

Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.

Ethiopian

Ethiopian

Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.

Nationale-Nederlanden

Nationale-Nederlanden

Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.

Investors Overseas Services

Investors Overseas Services

Investors Overseas Services, Ltd. (IOS) by A. G. Müller (Schaffhausen), c.1969.

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.

1950 Electric Snap

Electric Snap

Electric Snap by the South Wales Electricity Board, 1950s.

Playtex

Playtex

Playtex - le jeu de la beauté et du destin, Grimaud, 1971.

Jeu de Memoire

Jeu de Memoire

Jeu de Memoire card game promoting Véritable Chaumes cheese from the village of St Antoines in south west France.

1930 Lever Brothers miniatures

Lever Brothers miniatures

Two miniature card games promoting Vim Scouring Powder and Sunshine Soap, 1930s.

Deutsche Nutzpflanzen

Deutsche Nutzpflanzen

Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.