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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.

Imported Argentinean Playing Cards

There has been a number of importing agents, as well as manufacturers from other countries, who have imported playing cards into Argentina.

Since the end of the monopoly of the Real Fábrica de Naipes de Macharaviaya (Spain) in 1815, there have been a number of importing agents, as well as manufacturers from other countries, who have imported playing cards into Argentina. These include Fló Hnos. y Cía, Casa Jacobo Peuser Ltda, Julio Laje and Bertrand Domec (see full list of Importers). In general, and until 1968, these imported packs show the brown or orange Argentinean importation tax stamp "Impuestos Internos" on the ace of hearts for Anglo-american style decks, or on the four of cups in Spanish-suited packs, as illustrated in the examples shown below.

Consolidated Dougherty Squeezers No.9352

Above: "No.9352 Squeezers" manufactured by Consolidated Dougherty Card Co Inc., New York, for export to Argentina. The ace of hearts features three orange "Impuestos Internos" tax stamps instead of the usual one, and a small overprint 'Naipes Lavados'. This refers to the practise of refurbishing used decks which were then taxed for a second time. The importer's name Casa Bertrand Domec is overprinted on the ace of hearts. Similar packs were also imported into England by Mudie & Sons.

Waddington's Beautiful Britain series

Above: two cards from "BEAUTIFUL BRITAIN" playing cards manufactured by John Waddington Ltd with a pale brown Impuestos Internos tax stamp. The importer's details on the ace of hearts reads: “Casa Jacobo Peuser Ltda., San Martin 200 Buenos Aires

Abeja/Bee playing cards

Above: two cards from "NO-92 ABEJA/BEE" playing cards for import into Argentina, manufactured in USA by The N.Y. Consolidated Card Co (Consolidated-Dougherty Card Co. Inc). The importer's details on the ace of hearts reads: "Casa Bertrand Domec de Fagoaga y Fernandez Importadores, Tacauri 127, Buenos Aires".

'Marfil 1ª' playing cards by Hija de B. Fournier, Burgos

Above: two cards from a pack of playing cards by Hija de B. Fournier for export to Argentina, c.1945, imported by Julio Laje whose details are printed at the bottom of the card. The pale brown "Impuestos Internos" tax stamp is visible in the upper half of the card.

Heraclio Fournier’s “Poker N°40” c.1960

Above: detail from outer wrapper of a pack manufactured by Heraclio Fournier, Vitoria, Spain in around 1955-60, subsequently imported into Argentina by Bertrand Domec whose details are printed on the wrapper.

Left: side panel from a Spanish-suited pack manufactured in West Germany by F.X.Schmid Argentina S.A. c.1970.

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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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Julio Laje

Julio Laje

Julio Laje, importing agent for playing cards, Aconquija 2981, Buenos Aires, c.1930-1960.

Casa Jacobo Peuser

Casa Jacobo Peuser

Casa Jacobo Peuser was originally founded in 1867, and was involved in the importation of playing cards into Argentina during the period (approx.) c.1920-1950.

Imported Argentinean Playing Cards

Imported Argentinean Playing Cards

There has been a number of importing agents, as well as manufacturers from other countries, who have imported playing cards into Argentina.

Bertrand Domec, Buenos Aires 1904-1970

Bertrand Domec, Buenos Aires 1904-1970

Bertrand Domec was an importer of playing cards into Argentina, 1904-1970.