Belgian manufacturers during the 19th century, along with those from USA and France, were competing against Spanish makers in Spanish-speaking markets such as South America. Features of the traditional Spanish designs, including many well-known brands, imagery and logos, were imitated or plagiarised. Often they were anonymous so as to avoid importation duties in the destination country. It is surprising how many of these Belgian-made decks have survived to the present day in unused condition, often complete with their original wrappers. This leads us to suspect that many consignments of packs never reached their intended destinations, either because they were confiscated or withheld in customs warehouses, or were superseded by newer models, or else they were never shipped in the first place. Overproduction may also have been due to optimism and contracts going wrong. However, the large majority of packs, presumably, were sold and played with.
Imitation Spanish packs are also known from El Salvador.
Wüst Spanish pattern c.1910 advertising Cuban ‘Tropical’ beer.
“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.
Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards appear to depict Spanish conquistadors © 1994.
Cádiz Pattern playing cards
Naipes ‘El Leon’ manufactured by Federico Hidalgo (Barcelona, 1897-1899).
Inspired by an archaic Spanish pattern formerly used in Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Naipes Artiguistas published in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Rios province (Argentina) in 1816, by Fray Solano García.
Spanish-suited playing cards made in Belgium by Léonard Biermans, c.1875.
Canary Islands Souvenir by Heraclio Fournier, c.1970.
Bull-fighters pack published by Hijos de Heraclio Fournier, Vitoria (Spain) with artwork by Andrés Martínez de León, 1951.
Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s.
'Foto Joker' Spanish playing cards for Matera Color Laboratory, 2008.
‘El Jokey’ Spanish-suited pack by Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, 1990s
Spanish National pattern re-printed from original woodblocks which are preserved in the monastery at Valdemosa, Mallorca, c.1960.
Spanish-suited advertising deck for Philishave electric razors.
‘La Auténtica Baraja Canaria’ was published in 1995 by Justo Pérez as an expression of the history and character of the Canary Islands.
'Recreo Infantil' children's educational cards published by Jaime Margarit, Palamós (Gerona) c.1888.
Spanish playing cards such as these were used in those parts of France where certain games were enjoyed, such as Aluette.
Baraja Edad Media, fantasy Spanish-suited medieval playing cards published Mas-Reynals, Barcelona, 1993. Designed by M. Malé and illustrated by V. Maza.
‘La Española Classic’ is a traditional ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack and is produced in several sizes (standard, round, small and pocket).
Joan Barbot, San Sebastian c.1765-1810.
Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards.
Facsimile of 17th century Spanish-suited playing cards produced by Erregeak, Sormen S.A., Vitoria-Gasteiz (Alava), Spain, 1988.
Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France.
Copag Baralho Espanhol / Naipes Español.
Anonymous Moroccan Playing Cards for Royal Air Maroc airlines and others...
Chaudsoleil Red Wine advertising playing cards from Morocco.
Dengue prevention playing cards. Juego de 40 Naipes. Material para la prevención del Dengue, Ministerio de Salud de la Nación (Argentina).
Baraja Digital by Naipes De La Cigüeña, 1990.
Agostino Bergallo Spanish pattern made for South American countries
Playing cards manufactured in Italy by Giuseppe Cattino and Paolo Montanar for Spanish markets.
Playing cards recovered from the Northern Chile saltpetre workers. The cards are mostly from Spanish 'Cadiz' pattern decks, and several manufacturers can be identified.
Cards of the Spanish National Pattern 'Money Bag' type manufactured by Pedro Bosio, Genova (Italy) probably during the 18th century and for export to Spain or South America.
An example of the typical version of the Spanish Catalan pattern which is widely used in South American countries, especially Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Standard Spanish Catalan pattern playing cards by S. Giráldez, Barcelona, c.1905.
Hijos de José Garcia Taboadela was a book-seller who also published this charming pack of lovers' fortune telling cards in 1871.
Deck of half-sized [58 x 35 mms] Spanish-suited playing cards in the Maciá pattern produced by José Gombau, c.1833.
40-card "A Todos Alumbra - Naypes Refinos" pack manufactured by Léonard Biermans, Turnhout, c.1880.
During the colonial years and afterwards, Spanish-suited packs were imported into Cuba.