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Argentinean Tango playing cards

The Tango - sultry and seductive - is Argentina's form of popular music and dance, invented in Buenos Aires in the 19th century.

TANGO

Carlos Gardel on Ace and reverse

The Tango - sultry and seductive - is Argentina's form of popular music and dance, invented in Buenos Aires in the 19th century. It is usually performed on the piano with accordion, or bandoneon, and guitar accompaniment: "I was deceived… you see that everything is a lie… now I sell caresses and love to forget…"

Carlos Gardel became the tango's first international superstar, aided by the emerging gramophone and radio industries. His portrait is featured here on two modern packs, attesting to his legendary status.

Left: Gardel charismatically smiles from this special pack manufactured by Gráfica 2001 for Editorial Perfil, Buenos Aires, 1999. The cards were distributed with a weekly music magazine, making it hard to complete a set! A bandoneon is also shown on the ace.   more →

Below: 'Naipes Tango' by Producciónes Gráficas Arco Iris, Buenos Aires. 48 cards + 2 Jokers. The cards have been computer designed and feature several digital effects. Carlos Gardel himself appears as 'El Rey del Tango' on the four 12s.


Naipes Tango by Arco Iris, Buenos Aires, 1999
Black Tango, 2003
Milonguita, 2003
‘Tango’ playing cards from Argentina, c.2004
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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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