Souvenir playing cards from the culturally diverse, southwestern Pacific island of Papua New Guinea designed by Graeme Ross for Robert Brown & Associates. Traditional villages and communities thrive as viable units of Papua New Guinean society. See the Box►
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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.
Colour photographs of Turkey, published by Sel Reklam, Antalya, Turkey, c.2000.
Images from the Ministry of Defence Cape Wrath Training Centre, Sutherland, Scotland. Published 2010.
Rock paintings and engravings of the San people, better known as the “Bushmen”.
Carte da Gioco Toscana souvenir deck, 2002.
Playing cards featuring traditional folk costumes from Romania.
Souvenir pack from Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, c.1985.
Original designs from the French overseas department of Martinique by local artist Martine Porry.
Fifty-five paintings of Bulgaria published as “Sense of Bulgaria” by Land of Roses Ltd, Bulgaria, c.2015.
Cheerful, colourful designs on handmade paper from Nepal.
San Marino stamp designs combined with photographic views by La Fotometalgrafica Emiliana, c.1975.
Estonian national costumes and everyday items feature on this pack made in Estonia.
A colourful pack of round cards with Ganjifa designs by Asha Industries, Mumbai, India, 2002.
Pack designed for La Maison de L’Artisanat Ltée, Mauritius, by Hervé de Cotter.
Non-standard designs on Nepalese handmade paper for Pilgrims Book House, Kathmandu, Nepal, c.2000.
Annapurna playing cards produced and published by Himalayan MapHouse, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines. The courts are named after Biblical characters.
The first of two decks designed by Ukrainian illustrator Vladislav Erko for “Korchma Taras Bulba” restaurant which serves traditional Ukrainian cuisine
Folk Cards designed by Krystyna Gruchalska-Bunsch for Lot Polish Airlines, 1962.
Irish Legendary deck featuring figures in the Legends of Ireland, designed by Rachel Arbuckle, 1990.
Polska with artwork by Katarzyna Tomala & Krzysztof Korzeniak, 2011.
Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.
Sapra Studio Original playing cards featuring wild animals of S Africa, 1999.
Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française 1789–1989 created by Christian Offroy.
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.
National Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co c.1900.
Many Folk Misfitz published by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1906.
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Ethiopian Air Lines playing cards designed by Melles Habtezghi with courts wearing regional costumes, c.1969.
Souvenir from Zakynthos by Euro Card.
“Naipes Criollos” Gaucho playing cards, 1995.
Souvenir of Norway deck.
Naipes Cardón designed by Mario Luis Rivero depicting traditional Argentine culture and identity, 2002.
Views of New Zealand published by G.B.Scott Souvenirs, Auckland, c.1960.
Souvenir from New Zealand by Croxley (John Dickinson) c.1950.
“Ocean to Ocean” Canadian Pictorial Souvenir pack by Chas Goodall & Son Ltd, c.1912.
Ocean to Ocean Souvenir of Canada by Chas Goodall & Son Ltd, c.1905.
Characters from the Chinese novel “The Water Margin” - 水滸撲克.
Red Sea fish identification cards published in several languages by Horus of Egypt, 2005.