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Published October 08, 2014 Updated December 16, 2021

British Museum Playing Cards

Unique pack of playing cards created for the British Museum with illustrations by Frances Button.

Egypt France United Kingdom Frances Button Medieval Add to Collection

A unique pack of playing cards created for the British Museum with illustrations by Frances Button. Each suit reflects a different aspect of the Museum’s collections. The court cards have been inspired by actual exhibits in the Egyptian, Greek, Assyrian and Medieval Departments   more

The Joker depicts the Piltdown Man which
was proved to ba a hoax →

Above: British Museum playing cards with illustrations by Frances Button, produced and published by British Museum Connection, 46 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QQ.

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773 Articles

By 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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