The Brescia pattern contains elements which come from a past age, such as the Cupid on the Ace of Cups, the linked 2 of coins, the old-fashioned batons forming a trellis and the curved swords. There is a small dog jumping up the Page of Cups’ leg. It is not clear whether the Page of Swords is holding two swords, or a scabbard. (The back design is shown to the right).
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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.
Carte da Gioco Toscana souvenir deck, 2002.
Stylish monochrome designs by the Archinstudio of Guido Bolzani and Gian-Piero Spagnolo, printed by Masenghini, Bergamo, Italy, 1977.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
San Marino stamp designs combined with photographic views by La Fotometalgrafica Emiliana, c.1975.
Myriorama of Italian scenery, 1824.
Portraits of a Lady by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Il Circo illustrated by Jules Garnier, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004.
Facsimile of Swiss William Tell deck from c.1870 published by Lo Scarabeo.
Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.
Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.
Kaffeehaus-Pikett featuring the old Viennese Large Crown pattern, made by ASS.
Sapra Studio Original playing cards featuring wild animals of S Africa, 1999.
Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.
A continuation of the development of the off-spring of the Paris patterns and a few examples of how the French regional figures have inspired modern designers.
A great many regional patterns were exported from France and subsequently copied elsewhere. Some of them became local standards in their own right.
Continuing our look at the figures from the regional patterns of France.
On page 11 I illustrated several examples of the regional French patterns from Sylvia Mann's collection; this is a more in-depth look at the figures of these patterns ("portraits" in French).
Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.
Modern English court style by Games & Print Services Limited, c.1997.
Facsimile of Dondorf’s “Musikalisches Kartenspiel” (c.1862) published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004
Pinocchio fairy tale playing cards illustrated by Iassen Ghiuselev for Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Jeu Grotesque was first published in France c.1800.
Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.
“Carte Romane” designed by Giorgio Pessione, 1973, celebrating the history of Rome.
Cuccù or Cucco, an ancient Italian card game, published by Masenghini, 1979.
Sarde pattern published by Modiano, c.1975, based on early XIX century Spanish model.
The Triestine pattern is derived from the Venetian (Trevisane) pattern but with its own characteristics.
Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975
Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.
Navarra Pattern by Jonas Fouquet, c.1720 and c.1820.
Navarra pattern produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly in 1682.
Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1850
“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.
V. F. Solesio Tarot, Genoa, mid-late 19th century
Cartes des Rois de France (1644) facsimile edition by Edizioni del Solleone, 1986.
The Cagliostro Tarot was first published in 1912 as “Il Destino Svelato Dal Tarocco”.
Souvenir of Sorrento by Carte Da Gioco Muoio, Naples, c.2010