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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.

Taroquis ‘Obelisco’

78-card 'Taroquis Marca Obelisco' published by Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, during the 1950s, 60s & 70s, in the style known as "Tarocco Piemontese" which had been developed by Italian cardmakers during the nineteenth century.

TAROQUIS ‘MARCA OBELISCO’

by Mario Colombo, Rodriguez Peña 335, Bs As

Taroquis Marca Obelisco, Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, c.1950

Above: Taroquis ‘MARCA OBELISCO’ published by Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, during the 1950s. 78 cards in box. The four of cups has a 'Mercury' tax stamp and red lettering. Compare this with the card immediately beneath.

Taroquis Marca Obelisco, Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, c.1960

Above: Taroquis ‘MARCA OBELISCO’ published by Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, during the 1960s, in the style known as "Tarocco Piemontese" which had been developed by Italian cardmakers during the nineteenth century. Similar Piemontese tarot packs had already been produced in Buenos Aires during the early 1900s by Fabrica de Naipes La Primitiva, and another Tarok pack with Spanish inscriptions was published by Cappellano S.A. in the 1970s. Only the packs published by Mario Colombo have the title ‘MARCA OBELISCO’.

Avenida Nueve de Julio, Buenos Aires

The decks are printed in black/red/yellow only on cheap-grade card. The reverse has a pattern of small black diamonds forming a trellis. Size: 64 mms x 107 mms.

Left: The Obelisk, as shown on the ace of coins (above), was built in 1936 in commemoration of the first founding of the city. It is located in Avenida Nueve de Julio in Buenos Aires.

Mario Colombo also produced "Naipes Obelisco" directly copied from the designs of John Waddington (England).

See also:   Argentinean TaroccoBook of FateCartas BlancasCartas GitanasCartomancy & Divination CardsEdyta Gdek Tarot17th Century Fortune-Telling Cards72 Names CardsGeistliche Karten, 1718German Fortune Telling cards, c.1818Grapho-DeckJason Ennis TarotMinchiateMlle Lenormand CartomancyNaipes Tu DestinoPicture Book of Ana CortezPicture Show Zodiac Fortune Telling CardsRameses Fortune-telling cardsRamses II TarotSelf-Nurturing SolitaireTarocco BologneseTarocco PiemontesiTarot Egipcios KierWelsh TarotTarot

Taroquis Marca Obelisco, Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, c.1970

Above: Taroquis ‘MARCA OBELISCO’ published by Mario Colombo, Buenos Aires, during the 1970s. The cards have square corners and are printed on paper.

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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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