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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 Victoria

Naipes Victoria Spanish-suited playing cards manufactured by Cía General Fabril Financiera S.A.

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Naipes VICTORIA Spanish-suited playing cards manufactured by Compañía General Fabril Financiera, S.A., Iriarte 2035, Buenos Aires.

Naipes Victoria was Cía Fabril Financiera's leading brand of Spanish-suited playing cards, alongside Naipes Angelito, Domador and Payador. The logo on the four of cups and the box shows a gladiator standing victoriously over a slain lion.

The designs are based on those of Sebastian Comas of Barcelona (Spain) which had been imported into Argentina since the 19th century. The brand was briefly continued by F.X. Schmid (Argentina) S.A. and also by their successors Joker S.A. until around 1980 when it was discontinued, although the same designs are used in cards published today by Joker S.A. and other South American manufacturers.

Tax band and cards from Naipes Victoria manufactured by Cía General Fabril Financiera S.A., c.1955. The four of cups (top) has a serial number printed in red ink which was discontinued in later editions.

Decks included a quality control card giving the address: Av. Prto. R. Sáenz Peña 938 for complaints and customer service. The design on the back was usually a criss-cross pattern in one or two colours on a white background.

The outer box also featured the gladiator motif.

taxband c.1955
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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.