The Roaring Twenties roared with Jazz music and new inventions which changed the world, leading to the rise of consumerism... cars, refrigerators, radio, and so on. The emphasis was on having fun and spending money; fashion entered the modern era.
These “Roaring Twenties” playing cards, published by Angel Playing Cards Co Ltd (Japan, 1980) are supposed to evoke the spirit of this era with colourful and original artwork, which looks more like retro poster designs and looks better enlarged.
The court cards are double-ended but each end has a different illustration.
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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.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
This deck is named after Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu (1585-1642), a French Roman Catholic Clergyman and statesman, Chief Adviser to King Louis XIII, noted for the authoritarian measures he employed to maintain power.
Schweizer Trachten No.174 (Costumes Suisses) by Dondorf.
In this newsletter we’re looking at how fashion and costume is represented through playing card art since the 14th century through to today.
Hand-drawn Transformation cards, c.1870.
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
‘History of fashion’ cultural quartet game designed by Erika Werner-Nestler, 1954.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.
Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Martin Mystère based on the comic book by Alfredo Castelli. The cards were designed by Giancarlo Alessandrini.
Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.
‘Seefahrers’ maritime deck designed by Klaus Ensikat for Deutsche Seereederei Rostock, GDR.
Ukiyo-E deck by Nintendo for Sanyo Enterprise Co.
Year of the Child commemorative deck designed by Jhan Paulussen, 1979.
The Maya Deck produced by Stancraft for Hoyle, 1976.
‘Einhorn’ designed by Richard König, c.1986.
Spear’s “Fancy Dress Ball” card game with children dressed in period costumes, 1930s.
Bathing Beauties throughout the ages, published in Hungary, 1967.
Bicycle Steampunk playing cards with Gothic artwork by Anne Stokes, 2015.
“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Bicycle Knights playing cards designed by Sam Hayles in 2018.
‘Friendly Felines’ playing cards designed by Azured Ox, 2017.
Gods of Egypt playing cards dedicated to the culture of Ancient Egypt.
Bicycle 808 Bourbon themed deck by US Playing Card Company 2017.
Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.
“Kaiserkarte” first published by Schneider & Co in 1895-1897 for the Imperial Court.
Age of Dragons by Anne Stokes, 2017.
Anne Stokes Collection playing cards, 2010.
The Deck of Cards by Andrew Jones Art, 1979.
My wife and I have recently commissioned a unique pair of stained glass windows for our home.
Chinese playing card makers have probably produced the widest variety of jokers of any single part of the world.
An unknown deck by Ken McCarthy, c.2018.
Les Grandes Figures de L’Histoire Bretonne
Kalevala playing cards by Sunish Chabba and Ishan Trivedi inspired by ancient Finnish mythology.