playing cards from Russia based on Literature & Theatre
Playing cards showing the influence of ‘Jugendstil’ first manufactured by the Soviet Playing Card Monopoly (U.S.S.R.) in c.1910 and then again in c.1930. The well-designed court figures are colour coordinated, and represent characters taken from literary works, pantomimes and comedy (Queen of Diamonds as Scheherazade, Queen of Clubs as a mermaid, Knave of Hearts as Pierrot). Some editions are known with English indices suggesting that the cards were also intended for export.
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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 items for a group of entertainers, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK, 1911.
Theatre programme in the form of a pack of cards. East Germany, c.1967.
Miniature playing cards, possibly for children, with a romantic theatrical theme. C.L. Wüst c.1890.
This miniature pack is very similar to one made by C.L.Wúst in c.1890.
Panto People published by E. S. & A. Robinson, c.1930s.
Alice with artwork by Jesús Blasco, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Liberty playing cards designed by Antonella Castelli, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2003.
Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.
Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.
Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950.
Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.
Dickens Snap, c.1890.
La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, published by Jeux et Jouets Français. Paris, early 1900s.
Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board by Tony Hall.
Wonderland Misfitz by C.W. Faulkner & Co. Ltd, c.1908.
World of Harry Potter playing cards produced by Winning Moves under Waddingtons Number 1 brand, 2019.
“Renaissance” playing card designs by A I Charlemagne, 1862.
Boekenkwartet featuring illustrations from children's books, 1970s.
Aesop’s Fables playing cards by I. Kirk, c.1759.
Alice in Wonderland playing cards designed by Sasha Dounaevski, 2018.
Naipes “Martín Fierro” based on the epic poem by José Hernandez.
A Motley Pack - transformation playing cards & ‘On The Cards’ book facsimile published by Sunish Chabba, 2019.
Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005.
The Four Worlds playing cards by artist Aleksey Zhiryakov in the stylistic traditions of Palekh, 2018.
Characters from the Chinese novel “The Water Margin” - 水滸撲克.
Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.
Beatrix Potter’s Rummy published by Gibsons Games, c.1985.
Harry Potter Hogwarts playing cards, c.2016.
“Cosmopolitan” № 2121 playing cards designed by Russian artist Valeri Mishin, 1996
Elegant gold-printed playing cards in Jugendstil style designed by Otto Benz for Renault, 1987
Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.
Biggles card game published by Pepys Games in 1955 based on the popular books by Capt W E Johns.
Miner’s Cards for the Czech company Rutek Alliance, 2012.
“Eastern” playing cards dedicated to ethnic Buryat culture, 2015
In 1943 a pack of ‘anti-fascist’ playing cards was designed by Vasiliy Andrianovich Vlasov mocking the rulers of Germany and the Axis powers.
St Petersburg Souvenir playing cards, 2004
Russia Souvenir Playing Cards published by The Bronze Horseman, c.2004.
A deck designed by Victor M. Sveshnikov dedicated to the Neva river and the city of Saint Petersburg.