Löjliga Spel Kort
Facsimile edition of “Löjliga Spel Kort” (Comical playing cards, 1825) from Sweden, with engraved illustrations by the popular artist and painter Elis Chiewitz (1784-1839) featuring imaginary characters and events from Stockholm of that era. The subtitle “med Scener utur Fredmans epistlar” refers to a collection of poems and songs (‘Epistles’) by 18th century Swedish poet, songwriter and composer Carl Michael Bellman (1740–1795) in which Jean Fredman, an alcoholic former watchmaker, is the central character depicted in the scenes. The ‘Epistle’ number is shown at the bottom-right of each card, for example on the queen of hearts Epistle No 23 “Ach du min Moder!” is illustrated. The general theme is drinking, but the songs combine words and music to express feelings and moods ranging from humorous to elegiac, romantic to satirical...
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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.
Majas Alfabets Spel beautifully illustrated by Lena Andersson, 1980s.
Gilbert and Sullivan deck created by Don Jack using artwork from Players cigarette cards.
Bandsman Snap by Chiefton Products Ltd of Bristol, c.1950s.
Musikinstrumente quartet game published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pössneck, 1984.
Souvenir of Norway deck.
Musical Snap by C.W. Faulkner & Co., c.1900.
Kalevala playing cards by Sunish Chabba and Ishan Trivedi inspired by ancient Finnish mythology.
‘Stars Play’ card set published by Monty Gum, Leiden, 1988.
Facsimile of Dondorf’s “Musikalisches Kartenspiel” (c.1862) published by Lo Scarabeo, 2004
Moviestars from the golden age of cinema by Offason AB of Sweden, c.2000s.
Dutch singers, TV and theatre artist playing cards for “Story” magazine, 1978.
Extraordinary ‘Actors and Opera Singers’ deck printed by Avril et Cie, Paris, c.1865
Peter and the Wolf card game published by Pepys Games, 1947.
Naipes de Poker “Milonguita” featuring early Tango music score covers, Gardés Editorial, 2003.
‘Dogs’ playing cards showcases 52 canine portraits in four suits as authors, artists, musicians and film stars, illustrated by Chet Phillips, 2016
‘Black Tango’ playing cards with photographs of dancing couples published by Gardés Editorial, 2003.
“54 Views from Norway” souvenir playing cards published by Normanns Kunstforlag A/S, c.1990s.
Delta playing cards are a modern art concept deck invented by Professor M. R. Ali, an artist operating under the company name of “Artology International”.
Deck featuring “18 Rock ‘n’ Pop” Superstars portrayed on the court cards and jokers by eight of Britain’s leading illustrators.
A very impressive deck of cards featuring 54 different images from “Chinese Roles of Beijing Opera” published by HCG Poker Productions, 2005
Warburg’s Danske playing cards published by Aktieselskabet Emil Jensen, København, 1944.
“Warburg’s Skandinaviske Bridge Kort” published by Aktieselskabet Emil Jensen, København, c.1935.
VR-VISA playing cards published by VR Group, the state-owned railway company in Finland.
Facsimile edition of “Löjliga Spel Kort” (1825) illustrated playing cards from Sweden, showing scenes from Fredman‘s Epistles and Songs
Playing cards published by Jacob Bagges AB Stockholm, close copies of Dondorf designs.
Standard Danish playing cards made by Handa, Copenhagen.
‘Svenska Lloyd’ shipping company playing cards published by J.O. Öberg & Son, Eskilstuna, c.1955.
Swedish style pack by Åkerlund & Rausing, Stockholm, 1931-1937
Öbergs “Comedia” playing cards designed by Stig Lindberg from Sweden, c.1958
“Four Centuries” playing cards by Esselte Öbergs with court cards depicted as caricatures from different historical periods.
Olsen Spelkort Smygvänliga - Swedish pattern made by F.X. Schmid for Olsen
Offason AB “Beau” playing cards designed by Åke Arenhill from Sweden, c.1990.
‘Kille’, an old Swedish card game
The House of Vasa was the royal house of Sweden 1523–1654 and subsequent rulers have emphasized their Vasa descent through a female line
Elvis Presley playing cards published by The United States Playing Card Company, c.2002.
“Gilbert & Sullivan” hand-made Savoy Operas pack designed and created by Rex Pitts.
Russian Opera & Theatre Scenes playing cards first published by the Colour Printing Plant (USSR, Russian Federation) in 1973
Non-standard playing cards produced by De la Rue & Co. (London), c.1930s
Artwork featuring playing cards in Music Manuscripts
“Pop Rocky” miniature playing cards with double-ended caricatures of celebrities and pop stars, originally published inside a magazine, c.1970.