Playing cards in the Dominican Republic
Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Hispaniola in 1492, and it later became the major launching base for the Spanish conquest of the Caribbean, as well as the American mainland. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island, whilst Haiti occupies the west.
The Spaniards were fond of gambling and brought their dice, cards and recreational games with them. Early 16th century Spanish playing cards would have been available in Santo Domingo, similar to those discovered in Peru, and Spanish playing cards would have been used for the next 250 years or longer, until French-suited cards were introduced.
Above: Spanish playing cards exported to new Spanish colonies from c.1550 onwards. Cards like these would have been in use for the first 200-300 years or so after the first Spanish settlers arrived.
Cards commonly found for sale today include the ubiquitous "Briscas" Spanish-suited playing cards, made in Spain, Hong Kong or China, and which turn up in souvenir shops in most Latin American countries, as well as tourist souvenir packs like those illustrated below.
Above: Souvenir playing cards from the Dominican Republic, unknown manufacturer, made in China. The ace of spades and jokers have the initials A.F.© and the plastic box has "Republica Dominicana" printed on the lid.
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.