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Published July 03, 1996 Updated June 07, 2023

Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium

Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900.

1880 Belgium Brazil Mesmaekers Portugaises Portuguese Pattern Add to Collection

Later Portuguese Type - ‘Naipes Finos’ made in Belgium for export to Brazil, c.1880

Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900 Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900 Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900

Above: later Portuguese type pack with 'dragon' aces, 48 cards, stencil colouring, made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900, probably for export to Brazil; lithographed engraved outlines, stencil coloured. By this date, various Belgian and German exporters of the Portuguese type misrepresented the female 'Sota' (Maid) as a crowned queen: her true rank was below the horseman. Also the small dog has disappeared from the Maid of clubs.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

Founder 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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