Promotional playing cards for Alto Imaging Group made in Holland by Esveco Specialities B.V., who include playing cards and games in their range of manufactured products. The court cards are cleverly designed and different at each end (click image to see up-side-down).
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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.
Publicity pack for the Harley and Helmsley Hotels, U.S.A., c.1986.
A set of advertising poster stamps for C.L.Wüst playing cards.
Luxury playing cards produced by Theory11 in collaboration with The Nomad Hotel in New York City.
An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Marvel’s Avengers: The Infinity Saga Premium Playing Cards produced by Theory11 and designed by Mattson Creative, 2021.
Pack promoting Beaujolais wine published by Editions du Nuton, France.
Gó Succo fruit juice promotion deck featuring Walt Disney cartoons.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
IBM Linux One playing cards, c.2018.
Dutch costumes quartet game designed by Gerard Huijg, 1983.
Nederlands Stedenkwartet with heraldic needlepoint patterns by Permin, c.1970.
Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.
Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.
Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.
Zwanenberg’s Kwartetspel printed by Speelkaartenfabriek Nederland, 1938.
“H-O Kwartetspel” children’s card game promoting quick cooking oatmeal (instant porridge), 1930s.
“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.
Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.
“Deal Winners” promotional pack for Dundas & Wilson law firm.
Happy Gas Families published by British Gas, c.1985.
Asperge Kwartet published by Knorr.
Gilroy Special Edition Playing Cards to commemorate the centenary of the birth of John Gilroy, 1989.
Hamm’s Beer promotion deck with bear cartoons by Frank M. Antoncich 1968.
Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.
Nature Quartet game published by Staatsbosbeheer, printed by Roem Speelkaarten, Kampen.
Fairy Tales quartet published by Heinrich Schwarz + Co for Dutch market, c.1970.
Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company, 1984.
Investors Overseas Services, Ltd. (IOS) by A. G. Müller (Schaffhausen), c.1969.
Neerlands Glorie Kwartetspel published by Hausemann & Hötte N.V, Amsterdam, 1945.
Verkeers Kwartet by Nederlandse Spellenfabriek BV, Amsterdam, 1965.
Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.
Electric Snap by the South Wales Electricity Board, 1950s.
Playtex - le jeu de la beauté et du destin, Grimaud, 1971.
Jeu de Memoire card game promoting Véritable Chaumes cheese from the village of St Antoines in south west France.
Two miniature card games promoting Vim Scouring Powder and Sunshine Soap, 1930s.
Deutsche Nutzpflanzen - Quartett game promoting Kali brand crop fertilizer, 1938.
Cow & Gate ‘Snap’ featuring Cow & Gate Baby Milk Food, 1935.
Blue Brand Snap Up published by Van den Berghs probably late 1920s.
The Merry Game of Mr Bok and his Happy Families, promoting Bok furniture polish, 1930s.