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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.
Colourful Mexican version of standard Spanish designs, by Productos Leo, S.A., c.1980s.
Jeu de 54 cartes, completely anonymous, designed to resemble locally produced French packs.
This miniature pack is very similar to one made by C.L.Wúst in c.1890.
The maker is possibly Kaspar Traugott Knaut (1799-1881).
Handmade Black Peter cards.
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.
Baraja Taurina Mexicana Toranzo with paintings by Antonio Navarrete, 2003
Gallo Extra Intransparente by Clemente Jacques y Cia S.A., Mexico.
Naipes ‘El Aguila’ with flamboyantly dressed court figures made in Mexico by La Cubana S.A., c.1975.
Anglo-American pattern for Pedro Domecq Mexican brandy made by Productos Leo S.A., c.2000.
‘Selección Nacional de Fútbol’ playing cards published in Mexico by Novelty Corp de México S.A. de C.V., 2002.
“In der Fuehrer’s Face” playing cards designed in 1945 by Antonio Arias Bernal, a Mexican artist, but not published until 2002.
Wartime edition of Snap game by an anonymous publisher.
Two colourful Mexican packs by an anonymous manufacturer titled “As Vencedores” on the ace of coins, designed in the Mexican style, based on the Spanish ‘Castilian’ pattern.
“Baraja Hispanoamericana” published by Asescoin, with artwork by Ortuño, illustrates memorable people from the discovery, colonisation and subsequent liberation of Hispanic America
“Baraja Charra” with paintings by Ernesto Icaza, 2002.
A continuation of the survey of designs used in Central and South America.
Mexican Canasta set with paintings by Ramón Espino Barros (1918-2000).
The designs of Mayan artists shown here give a general idea of their enormous artistic and cultural potential.
Following their acquisition of Clemente Jacques y Cia in 1967, the playing card business was taken over by Pasatiempos Gallo S.A., which in 1990 became Pasatiempos Gallo S.A. de C.V.
Naipes Cassino de Don Clemente, Pasatiempos Gallo S.A., Mexico, c.1988.
Special pack for Aeronaves de Mexico S.A., designed by Ramón Valdiosera Berman, mid-1960s.
Mexican Poker cards made by Juegos y Fichas, S.A. de C.V., Mexico, 1991
Nutrimientos Purina (Purina pet foods) advertising playing cards produced by Miguel Galas S.A. (Brown & Bigelow), Mexico, c.1960.
Naipe Victoria by Clemente Jacques c.1900.
‘Naipes Soberano’ published by Productora de Naipes y Confetti, S.A., Mexico, c1990s
Naipes El León by Clemente Jacques y Cia.
Naipe Extra 'Las Dos Torres' manufactured by Pasatiempos Gallo S.A. de C.V., Mexico.
Acapulco Souvenir playing cards designed and printed by Foliproa S.A., Mexico.
Anonymous Mexican Playing Card Manufacturers.
Naipes Gacela & Gacelita.
Naipes 'Pierrot' 125 manufactured by Orpamex, S.A., Mexico.
Productos Camacho, c.2003
Naipe Fino 'El Fenix' playing cards by Clemente Jacques y Cia, Mexico.
Souvenir of Mexico playing cards by Clemente Jacques y Cia, S.A., 1950s.
Grupo Editorial RAF S.A. de C.V. (founded 1962) has branches throughout Mexico.
Naipes Nacionales designed by Manuel Bayardi and published by Clemente Jacques y Cia, Mexico c.1940.
Minnie Patience. The backs show images of Mickey & Minnie mouse dancing together.
Anonymous Moroccan Playing Cards for Royal Air Maroc airlines and others...
An anonymous Snap game purporting to be “British Make”, 1930s.