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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.

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Uruguay

47 Articles

Until the 19th century playing cards were imported into Uruguay from Spain.

Parisian style Spanish deck by Grimaud

Parisian style Spanish deck by Grimaud for export to Uruguay.

Parisian style Spanish deck by Grimaud

Naipes ‘La Criolla’ by Anabella Corsi

Inspired by an archaic Spanish pattern formerly used in Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Naipes ‘La Criolla’ by Anabella Corsi

Naipes Artiguistas, 1816

Naipes Artiguistas published in Concepción del Uruguay, Entre Rios province (Argentina) in 1816, by Fray Solano García.

Naipes Artiguistas, 1816

Playing Cards designed by Alvaros

Playing Cards designed by Alvaros, published by Eduardo Carrión, Montevideo, 2000

Playing Cards designed by Alvaros

Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay

100th anniversary of the Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay, 1999.

Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay

Canasta

Canasta is a card game of the Rummy family which originated in Uruguay probably about 1947

Canasta

Copa de Oro 1980

Naipes “Copa de Oro 1980” manufactured by Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, 1980.

Copa de Oro 1980

Naipes Victoria

‘Victoria' playing cards manufactured in Uruguay by Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, c.1955.

Naipes Victoria

Supermercados CHIP

Supermercados CHIP playing cards manufactured in Uruguay by Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, 1979

Supermercados CHIP

Cía Gral de Fósforos

Compañía General de Fósforos Montevideana, founded in 1893.

Cía Gral de Fósforos

Naipes ‘Baccarat’

An example of the typical version of the Spanish Catalan pattern which is widely used in South American countries, especially Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.

Naipes ‘Baccarat’

Las Cartas de Sara

Las Cartas de Sara (Yerba Mate) based on an idea by Diego Silva Pintos and illustrated by Hogue. Produced by Color/9, c.2003.

Las Cartas de Sara

Chocolondo by Famosa

Chocolondo Waffle deck for Famosa.

Chocolondo by Famosa

Pilsen Trucofest, c.2008

Pilsen Trucofest playing cards, Uruguay, c.2008

Pilsen Trucofest, c.2008

Naipes ‘Ancla’

Naipes opacos ‘Ancla’ manufactured by Cía General de Fósforos Montevideana S.A. c.1980.

Naipes ‘Ancla’

Naipes ‘Tito’, Camilloni Hnos

Naipes ‘Tito’, Camilloni Hnos, Montevideo, c.1950.

Naipes ‘Tito’, Camilloni Hnos

Naipes ‘Miguelito’

The standard Spanish-suited 'Parisian' style (Tipo Frances) is based on models exported to South America by French manufacturers during the nineteenth century.

Naipes ‘Miguelito’

Naipes ‘El Gaucho’ by Cervantes S.A., Montevideo, c.1970s

Naipes ‘El Gaucho’ manufactured and distributed by Cervantes S.A., Montevideo, c.1970s.

Naipes ‘El Gaucho’ by Cervantes S.A., Montevideo, c.1970s

Argenar, Buenos Aires, c.1980

The reverse has advertising for Cymaco motor spares who have branches in Uruguay.

Argenar, Buenos Aires, c.1980

Latin American Playing Cards

Playing cards had been introduced to the Americas with explorers such as Columbus or Cortés, whose fellow countrymen were keen gamblers. Cards were imported from Spain since the 16th century. Local production usually imitated Spanish cards.

Latin American Playing Cards

Las Cartas de Tacuabe by Manos del Uruguay

Tacuabé was a Charrúa native from Uruguay, an indigenous tribe that became extinct following European conquest and colonisation.

Las Cartas de Tacuabe by Manos del Uruguay

Escalada y Vidiella, Montevideo c.1860

Cards from a 40-card pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm "Escalada y Vidiella" based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860.

Escalada y Vidiella, Montevideo c.1860

Uruguay playing card tax

In 1806 the Council of Concepción del Uruguay imposed an 8 Peso tax on card and billiard tables on account of “the detrimental effect on poor and innocent people”

Uruguay playing card tax

Naipes Tatú

Naipes Tatú, M.C. de Casabó S.A., Montevideo, c.1956

Naipes Tatú

Naipes “El Gaucho”, c.1955-60

Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60

Naipes “El Gaucho”, c.1955-60

Naipes ‘Retruco’

Naipes ‘Retruco’ published by Fantasias S.A., Montevideo, c.1980.

Naipes ‘Retruco’

The ‘Parisian’ Spanish pattern

A version of the old Spanish National pattern which was manufactured by Parisian card makers in the 19th century for export to South America.

The ‘Parisian’ Spanish pattern

Naipes 210 made by Industria Gráfica Papelera S.A.

Naipes '210' playing cards made in Uruguay by Industria Gráfica Papelera S.A. (Ingrapa), c.1990.

Naipes 210 made by Industria Gráfica Papelera S.A.

Naipes Victoria Gaucho-themed pack, c.1975

Naipes Victoria Spanish-suited, gaucho-themed pack celebrates the culture and traditions of the gauchos.

Naipes Victoria Gaucho-themed pack, c.1975

Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino

Naipes Conrad Punta del Este Casino playing cards produced specially for Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino. .

Conrad Punta del Este Resort & Casino

Naipes ‘El Gaucho’

Naipes ‘El Gaucho’ manufactured and distributed by Caraven S.A., Montevideo, Uruguay, c.1990s.

Naipes ‘El Gaucho’

Naipes ‘American’

Naipes ‘American’ by M.C. de CASABÓ Ltda, Montevideo, c.1950.

Naipes ‘American’

Naipes ‘Jaque’ by Casabó S.A., c.1997

Naipes ‘Jaque’ Catalan pattern manufactured by Casabó S.A. for Laboratorios Gautier, c.1997.

Naipes ‘Jaque’ by Casabó S.A., c.1997

Naipes ‘Bambú’

Naipes ‘Bambú’ manufactured by M.C. de Casabó Ltda, Montevideo, c.1950

Naipes ‘Bambú’

The Monkey

‘The Monkey’ poker playing cards manufactured by M.C. de Casabó Ltda, Uruguay, c.1950.

The Monkey

Proverbs and Maxims

Naipe Infantil Gauchito children’s miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims on the reverse,

Proverbs and Maxims

Walt Disney playing cards

‘Naipes Donald’, children's miniature Spanish-suited Walt Disney playing cards, Uruguay, c.1990.

Walt Disney playing cards

Instituto Nacional de Calidad 2006 awards

Spanish-suited playing cards made specially for the Instituto Nacional de Calidad 2006 awards.

Instituto Nacional de Calidad 2006 awards

Children’s miniature football player cards, Montevideo, c.1928

Miniature children’s playing cards with photographs of football players on the reverse.

Children’s miniature football player cards, Montevideo, c.1928

Spanish playing cards for Yerba Armiño

Spanish-suited playing cards for Yerba Armiño, anonymous manufacturer probably made in China.

Spanish playing cards for Yerba Armiño

Popular heroes and celebrities

Miniature children's playing cards depicting popular heroes and celebrities on the backs, Montevideo, c.1928.

Popular heroes and celebrities

Scooby-Doo! playing cards for Hellmann’s Magic

Miniature Spanish-suited playing cards featuring Scooby-Doo! made specially for Hellmann’s.

Scooby-Doo! playing cards for Hellmann’s Magic

Radisson Hotels

Playing cards for Radisson Hotels - Casinos del Estado - Victoria Plaza, Montevideo, Uruguay, c.2009.

Radisson Hotels