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Naipes ‘El Leon’ 1897

Cadiz pattern pack, possibly manufactured anonymously in Mexico, Spain or Belgium, in which the features of regular Spanish production and known brands have been cleverly mimicked, including exhibition medals, legends and the well-known 'El Leon' trade mark. The ace of coins shows a trade mark lion with two hemispheres and a sun. The cards are preserved inside a leather pouch with the legend ‘Atlanta’, suggesting the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition whose goals were to foster trade between southern states and South American nations as well as to show the products and facilities of the region to the rest of the nation and to Europe.

Fabrica de Naipes Finos ‘El Leon’, c.1898

The demand in Spanish-speaking and ex-colonial countries for such cards, for use in casinos and at home, was attractive not only to Spanish manufacturers, but also to Belgian, French and American makers who regularly produced cards for the Philippines, North Africa and Latin & South American nations where there was no playing card manufacturing industry.

Fabrica de Naipes Finos ‘El Leon’, c.1898 Fabrica de Naipes Finos El Leon, c.1898 Fabrica de Naipes Finos El Leon, c.1898

Above: cards from an anonymous imitation of traditional Spanish Cádiz-style playing cards, c.1897. 48 cards, square corners, printed by letterpress and hand-coloured with stencils.

Last Updated October 26, 2016 at 03:26pm


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