Middle Ages by Germano & Cª, (Litografia Maia). 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.
Portuguese proverbs in combination with special courts and suit-signs published by Apenas Livros, Lisbon.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
Jeu “Gerente” - published by Moncar in 1983 in the “Cartes de Fantasie” series.
Middle Ages by Germano & Cª, (Litografia Maia),
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
“Romance Español” designed by Carlos Sáenz de Tejada and published by Heraclio Fournier in various editions since 1951.
“Europe” designed by Teodoro N. Miciano and printed by Heraclio Fournier in 1962, portraying XIV century European fashions.
Animal suited playing cards engraved by the Master of the Playing Cards, Germany, c.1455
Anonymous “La Baraja” Spanish deck, c.2005.
Medieval View of Gambling in the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ by Jheronimus Bosch
The luxury, hand-painted Stuttgart Cards (Stuttgarter Kartenspiel) dated c.1430, with suits of ducks, falcons, stags and hounds.
Attractive deck by the Portuguese maker Maillard, c.1885 with scenic aces and German-style courts
“Jeu de Bataille” card game published by Éditions Willeb, Paris. The court cards represent characters from different nationalities or ethnic groups who are presumably engaged in battle
“Ilha da Madeira” Souvenir playing cards with 54 colour views of the archipelago.
The highly individual Sicilian Tarot has the Italo-Portuguese suit system with straight, interlocking swords and batons, and maids instead of jacks
Set of medieval playing cards with King, Queen, Knave and numeral cards from one to ten in each of four suits which refer to the activity of hunting, as practiced by the nobility.
“Four Centuries” playing cards by Esselte Öbergs with court cards depicted as caricatures from different historical periods.
Unique pack of playing cards created for the British Museum with illustrations by Frances Button.
19th century Portuguese pattern, re-printed from original woodblocks.
Playing cards designed by Hans Sebald Beham (1500–1550).
Medieval style playing cards commemorating the Battle of Grunwald (1410), designed and published by Studio Wena, 2011
Daveluy produced card games between c.1840 and 1890. Many of his playing cards have historical connotations and show figures with a landscape background.
‘Première Croisade’ with single-ended courts by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1850.
Cartes Moyen-Age by Daveluy, Bruges, c.1875.
Quénioux believed that aesthetic feelings are the highest values: “C’est précisément cet amour de l’artisan pour le travail qu’il accomplit, la satisfaction intime qu’il en éprouve, qui ont donné naissance à tous les arts et qui ont fait dire que l’art est la joie dans le travail”.
Baraja Edad Media, fantasy Spanish-suited medieval playing cards published Mas-Reynals, Barcelona, 1993. Designed by M. Malé and illustrated by V. Maza.
Whist No. 32 - Cartas de Jogar Nunes
Playing Cards by the Master of the Banderoles, one of the earliest professional printmakers, c.1470.
Master PW Circular Playing Cards: roses, columbines, carnations, parrots and hares... everyday objects evoking life and fertility.
Playing Cards have been around in Europe since the 1370s. Some early packs were hand painted works of art which were expensive and affordable only by the wealthy. But as demand increased cheaper methods of production were discovered so that playing cards became available for everyone...
Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900
Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium, c.1878.
Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards - Lisbon
Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards, c.1850.
Fragment of a sheet of archaic Spanish-suited 'Dragon' playing cards found during restoration of a house in Antwerp built between 1559 and 1574
10 cards from a pack of later Portuguese ‘Dragon’ type cards from c.1860, with the Maid of batons about to club a dog.
Playing Cards by J J Nunes, Lisbon, Portugal
The Real Fábrica de Cartas de Jogar was founded in 1769, by Royal Charter of King José, under the master craftsman Lorenzo Solezio, brother of Félix Solesio who ran the Spanish Real Fábrica at Macharaviaya.
Archaic, late medieval Spanish-suited playing cards printed by Phelippe Ayet, c.1574.