The “Royal Pavilion at Brighton” playing cards, depicting caricatures of Regency period life, is also known as the “Regency Deck”. The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence located in Brighton, England. It was built in three stages, beginning in 1787, as a seaside pleasure retreat for George, Prince of Wales (from 1811 Prince Regent), in an opulent Indian style with extravagant chinoiserie interiors.
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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.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Comic Question & Answer cards by Josh. Reynolds & Sons, circa 1850.
Black Peter card game designed by Willy Mayrl for Piatnik.
Polska with artwork by Katarzyna Tomala & Krzysztof Korzeniak, 2011.
“Werbung die Sticht” deck with artwork by Fritz Bünzli to promote advertising on playing cards by AG Müller 1982.
Baracca & Burattini puppetry deck printed by Dal Negro, 1998.
Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.
Forfeits party card game by Merit Games, J & L Randall Ltd, c.1950.
Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989
Pranks & Mimics for the Party, 1950s.
Christmas Playing Cards published by Novelty Playing Cards, Syracuse, New York, 1986.
Delightful comical deck designed by Loriot, the German cartoonist and comedian, 1973.
Ethiopian playing cards designed for the Ethiopian Tourist Organization by Afewerk Teklé.
Sapra Studio Original playing cards featuring wild animals of S Africa, 1999.
Genoese pattern with Pictorial Aces for Brazil by Brepols, Turnhout, c.1920.
El Al Airlines deck designed by Jean David, Israel, c.1970.
Railway Stations quartet game illustrated by Wim Dolk and published by Servex BV, Utrecht, 1975.
Dynastie Royale de Belgique by Mesmaekers, 1934.
Bicentenaire de la Révolution Française 1789–1989 created by Christian Offroy.
Hungarian Drinking Skat, c.2004.
One Penny Card Games, 1920s.
One Penny Card Games, 1900-1910, mostly anonymous 'Snap' games and made in Germany.
Naval and Military Families produced by Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg, printed by Ernst Nister of Nuremberg, c.1905-10.
Ups and Downs humorous card game published in UK by A. N. Myers, c.1885.
Inspector card game published by W F Jackson & Sons, 1940s.
La Mariée du Mardi-Gras, published by Jeux et Jouets Français. Paris, early 1900s.
A Royal Game featuring Queen Victoria’s children and extended family, published by A. Collier, London, c.1896.
Biff! Bang!! Wallop!!! family card game published by H.P. Gibson & Sons Ltd, 1939.
Capilettor cartoon playing cards published by VASS, Leinfelden, 1978.
Who’s Who or Food for Thought, a wartime card game, c.1939.
101 Dalmatas by Naipes Fournier, 1995,
Humorous dog-themed Black Peter game illustrated by Willy Mayrl, c.1960.
Crown the Queen card game invented by Elaine Burton, c.1953.
Souvenir from Zakynthos by Euro Card.
Souvenir of Norway deck.
Klutz Card Deck with comic courts.
The Woman’s Hour playing cards published by David Westnedge, 1996.
Bicycle Emotions playing cards with custom emotions on the courts to help you bluff at cards, 2013.
Pack of 52 hand-drawn Jokers.