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772 Articles

Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

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.

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J. W. Spear and Sons

Jacob Wolfe Spear founded his company manufacturing fancy goods in 1879 near Nuremberg in Bavaria, Germany

Chad Valley Co. Ltd

Chad Valley Co. Ltd (incorporating Johnson Brothers (Harborne) Ltd, the long-established UK brand bought by Woolworths in 1988 and now sold at Argos.

Multum in Parvo Co., Ltd

Multum in Parvo published a range of indoor games during the period from 1884-1927.

1954 Ariel Productions Ltd

Ariel Productions Ltd

The founder of Ariel Productions, Philip Marx, was a prolific publisher of children’s books and comics towards the end of and just after the Second World War.

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games

Kum-Bak Sports, Toys & Games MFG Co., Ltd, London S.E.11

1950 Crazy People

Crazy People

Crazy People children’s card game illustrated by caricaturist and graphic artist Walter Trier, c.1950.

1912 Panko

Panko

Panko (Votes for Women) suffragette card game published by Peter Gurney Ltd, c.1912.

Snap

Anonymous Snap game, 1930s.

Lion Coffee

Lion Coffee Mother Goose card game, late 19th C.

Panto People

Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

Hats-Off!

Hats-Off! miniature card game published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

1930 Zoo-Boots

Zoo-Boots

Zoo-Boots published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.

1875 XIXth Century

XIXth Century

The XIXth Century published by John Jaques & Son, c.1875.

The ‘Rinker’ Snap

The ‘Rinker’ highly amusing snap game, c.1910.

1940 Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.

1960 Österreichisches Trachten-quartett

Österreichisches Trachten-quartett

Österreichisches Trachten-quartett Nr.282 published by Ferd Piatnik & Söhne.

Round the World Happy Families

Round the World Happy Families by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.

1989 Geschichte des Buchgewerbes

Geschichte des Buchgewerbes

Geschichte des Buchgewerbes illustrated by Ludwig Winkler, published by Verlag für Lehrmittel Pößneck.

1950 So Fängt Es An

So Fängt Es An

“So Fängt Es An” beautifully illustrated by M. Neugebauer, published by Helingsche Verlagsanstalt.

Abbatt Animal Families

Abbatt Toys Animal Families, c.1970.

1879 La Sibylle des Salons

La Sibylle des Salons

La Sibylle des Salons facsimile of 19th century deck published by J M Simon, 1979.

1958 Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt

Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt

“Verkehrsmittel Einst und Jetzt” transport quartet game by Bielefelder Spielkarten Fabrik GmbH, 1958.

1989 Asterix Abenteuer

Asterix Abenteuer

Asterix Adventure quartet game by ASS, 1989.

1953 Vargas Girls

Vargas Girls

‘Vargas Girls’ paintings by Alberto Vargas in a deck of cards published by Creative Playing Card Co Missouri.

The Art of Pin-Up decks

Feminine beauty has been appreciated since prehistory.

2003 Portraits of a Lady

Portraits of a Lady

Portraits of a Lady by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

1930 French for Fun

French for Fun

French for Fun instructive card game published by John Jaques & Son Ltd., c.1930s

Eurotrotter

Eurotrotter by La Ducale, c.1980s.

1910 Schwarzer Peter no.964

Schwarzer Peter no.964

Schwarzer Peter no.964 published by Josef Hohlweg, Vienna, early 20th century.

1930 Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain

Counties of Britain by John Jaques & Son Ltd. c.1930.

2003 Alice

Alice

Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

1930 Radio Banker

Radio Banker

Radio Banker by John Waddington Ltd for Marconiphone Co Ltd.

Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien

‘Tout Est Bien Qui Finit Bien’ family card game by Dondorf.

2010 Pulp Pin-Up

Pulp Pin-Up

Classic 1940s Pulp Pin-Up covers on playing cards from China, c.2010.

2003 Liberty

Liberty

Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.

2004 Il Circo

Il Circo

Il Circo illustrated by Jules Garnier, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004.

William Tell

Facsimile of Swiss William Tell deck from c.1870 published by Lo Scarabeo.

Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134

Luxus Skatkarte Nr.1134 printed by Brepols for Germany, c.1940s.

Römihártya

Römihártya pin-up deck from Hungary.

1906 Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet

Zwarte Piet by Dondorf for the Dutch market, 1906.

Jigstar

Jigstar film star card game by Murphy Games Ltd, 1936.

2017 Black Peter

Black Peter

Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.

1969 Corrida de Toros

Corrida de Toros

Bull fighting card game publshed by Naipes Comas, 1969.

1930 Countries of Empire

Countries of Empire

“Countries of Empire” published by John Jaques & Son Ltd, c.1930s.

Majas Alfabets Spel

Majas Alfabets Spel beautifully illustrated by Lena Andersson, 1980s.

1979 Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.

1981 El Gato con Botas

El Gato con Botas

Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.

1942 Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces

Anma US Armed Forces, 1942.

1980 Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes

Gas Warm Homes Happy Families game published by British Gas, c.1980.

Bass & Bass Jeu des Familles

Bass & Bass ‘Jeu des Familles’ made by Franz-Josef Holler, Münich, 1989.