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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s.

Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s, based on the designs of Guarro (Barcelona). The Argentinean flag has been prominently added to the ace of coins and the box is colourfully decorated with Spanish suit symbols and a mexican sombrero, and has the inscription "Industria Argentina" on the edge.

Naipes Españoles
Naipes Españoles Naipes Españoles Naipes Españoles

Above: Naipes Españoles "El Mexicano" made by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s. 48 cards + 2 Jokers in box. The eight of cups has a printing error on the index sign.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

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Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s.

Jeu D’Aluettes - Boéchat Frères c.1950

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