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Gaucho Playing Cards

Florencio de los Ángeles Molina Campos (1891-1959) produced the artwork for his series of Gaucho playing cards from 1944 to 1958.

Vida de Campo en la República Argentina - Haciendo Tiempo

Molina Campos Playing Cards

Florencio Molina Campos habia nacido en Buenos Aires el 21 de agosto de 1891 y fallecio en su ciudad natal el 16 de noviembre de 1959. "Hizo Sonreir a Muchos Millones". El concepto del honor, de la hospitalidad, del coraje, del sacrificio, de la modestia, que Molina Campos atribuia al gaucho fueron sus propias e intimas virtudes.

Florencio de los Ángeles Molina Campos was born in Buenos Aires on August 21st, 1891. In 1926, Molina Campos displayed his first exhibition in the Sociedad Rural Argentina. In 1931, the painter travelled to Europe for the first time and displayed his work in Paris. In 1942, Molina Campos strengthened his friendship with Walt Disney and was hired to advise a team of cartoonists in three films that were going to be produced by Disney. The films were set in Argentina and were based on the artist’s work and on the landscapes they had seen. The artwork for his series of playing cards was produced from 1944 to 1958. He died in Buenos Aires on November 16th, 1959.

Molina Campos Gaucho playing cards

Above: eight cards from Naipes Criollos ® "Molina Campos", published by F. Molina Campos Ediciones, Silvio L. Ruggieri 2758 casa 18, C1425DLB - Buenos Aires, 2004. The court cards show characters from the artist's very popular paintings of gaucho life. The suit signs are non-standard variations on the Spanish-suit theme. Some editions with advertising slogans are also known.

Molina Campos Gaucho playing cards

Above: cards from a later edition of Naipes Criollos ® "Molina Campos", published by F. Molina Campos Ediciones, Buenos Aires. The court cards show different characters of gaucho life from the above edition, the Jokers are numbered and sets come with a series of different back designs in a presentation box including a biographical leaflet.


Unofficial Edition

Unofficial Edition of Molina Campos playing cards, 2004

Above: Unofficial Edition of Molina Campos playing cards, anonymous publisher, 2004  more


Naipes Casino Estilo Argentino

Naipes Casino Estilo Argentino, c.1955

Above: Naipes Casino Estilo Argentino published by Justo Rodero, c.1955, with Gaucho suit symbols   more →

Naipes Argentinos para Truco

Naipes Argentinos para Truco FALTA ENVIDO, 1982

Above: Naipes Argentinos para Truco "Falta Envido" created by Alberto Soifer and printed by Adans S.A., Buenos Aires, 1982.   more →


Fournier Baraja Gaucha

Baraja Gaucha, Fournier, 1999

Above: Baraja Gaucha with Gaucho suit symbols published by Naipes Fournier specially for Argentina, 1999   more →


Naipes Cardón

Naipes Cardón depicting traditional Argentine culture, 2002

Above: Naipes Cardón designed by Mario Luis Rivero, depicting traditional Argentine culture, published in 2002   more →


Gaucho playing cards

Gaucho playing cards with allegorical suit symbols

Above: Gaucho playing cards with allegorical suit symbols   more →

Gaucho themed playing cards designed by Juan C. Yelina for Profertil Granular Urea, 2006

Above: Gaucho themed playing cards designed by Juan C. Yelina, 2006   more →


Other Gaucho themed packs

Songs and poems of the gaucho tradition reflect themes of love and nostalgia; many are political in nature and deal with the injustices of life.

Domador trade mark On a visit to an estanco, one may still find a gaucho at work, maybe a domador beaking horses.

Right: four of cups from a 'Domador' deck made by Cia Gral Fabril Financiera S.A., Buenos Aires, in c.1945. A gaucho's pride is still his horse.

Although true gaucho culture ended in the late 19th century, much remains today. The job of ranch hand has become known as "paisano".

Left: four of cups from a 'Paisanito' deck made by E. Flaiban, Buenos Aires, in c.1950.

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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. He is a former committee member of the IPCS and was graphics editor of The Playing-Card journal for many years. He has lived at various times in Chile, England and Wales and is currently living in Extremadura, Spain. Simon's first limited edition pack of playing cards was a replica of a seventeenth century traditional English pack, which he produced from woodblocks and stencils.


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