'El Cid' fantasy playing cards designed by E. Pastor and manufactured by Simeon Durá, Valencia, Spain, c.1875
Above: E. Pastor's magnificent fantasy Spanish suited playing cards, printed by Simeon Durá, Valencia, c.1875. The king of coins is based on a painting of Louis XIV of France by the Catalan artist Jacint Rigau i Ros.
This was about the same period when Naipes Heraclio Fournier were developing their own 'Castilian' playing cards and there may have been competition between the rival manufacturers to produce new designs for the market. These designs were subsequently revised and became Durá's standard house-style for 'El Cid' Spanish-suited cards for many decades. E. Pastor also designed Simeon Durá's highly acclaimed fantasy advertising pack for Chocolates 'El Barco'. In both cases the excellence of the artwork is outstanding.