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Published August 06, 2017 Updated July 29, 2023

African Art

“African Art” playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994

1994 Africa USA Cartamundi John J. Beckvermit III Art & Design Ethnic & Indigenous Symbols Add to Collection

“African Art” playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III based on African decoration and symbols from different regions, 1994. The pips on the number cards are leopards, masks, textile patterns and crocodiles. See the title card

“African Art” Playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994 “African Art” Playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994

Above: “African Art” playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1994. 55 cards + leaflet. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

“African Art” Playing cards by John J. Beckvermit III, 1994
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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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