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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.

Poker Paisanito

“Poker Paisanito” manufactured by E. Flaiban S.R.L., c.1943.

Above: E. Flaiban Ace of Spades from early “Paisanito” pack, c.1942. Image courtesy Florencia Marotta.

Poker “Paisanito”

“Paisanito” was one of Ernesto Flaiban's stationery brands and the range of products included playing cards. “Paisanito” playing cards were produced both in Anglo-American and Spanish-suited styles. The examples shown here from the early 1940s give Flaiban's factory address at Sadi Carnot 646-50 (the street name was later changed to Esperanza) and the administration and sales offices at Corrientes 3679, Buenos Aires.

It so happened that in 1952 the playing card division was hived off and re-named as Paisanito S.R.L. with premises at Rio Limay 1527-29, but was re-merged with the parent firm shortly afterwards, which became Flaiban S.A.C.I.

“Poker Paisanito” manufactured by E. Flaiban S.R.L., c.1943

Above: “Poker Paisanito” manufactured by E. Flaiban S.R.L. in c.1943 with court cards inspired by those of ARCCO (USA), c.1943.

REFERENCES

Marotta, Florencia: Sellados e Impuestos en Naipes Argentinos, Buenos Aires, 2007

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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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