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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 Angelito

Naipes Angelito Spanish-suited playing cards, Cía Fabril Financiera, Buenos Aires.

Compañía General Fabril Financiera S.A. “Angelito”

One of several brands produced by Cía Fabril Financiera, this brand had been produced earlier by Compañía General de Fósforos, before Cía Fabril Financiera took over the playing-card production in c.1930. The designs are based on those of Comas of Barcelona (Spain) but we have no idea why the logo on the four of cups shows an angel next to a straw hut.

Naipes Angelito, Cia Fabril Financiera c.1948

Above: Naipes Angelito, Cia Fabril Financiera c.1948. See the Control Slip

Above: advert from a magazine for Naipes Angelito in which a game of cards is taking place in a wine cellar. No money is visible so it is just a friendly game. The advert says that it is more pleasurable to play with 'Angelito' cards, which are non-transparent, flexible, bright and colourful, long-lasting and cheap. The address for Cia Fabril Financiera is given as California 2020, Buenos Aires. c.1930


By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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