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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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spanish

87 Articles

Hermanos Solesi

“Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, late 18th c.

Hermanos Solesi

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards appear to depict Spanish conquistadors © 1994.

Kem ‘Spanish’ playing cards

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Cádiz Pattern playing cards

Naipes ‘El Leon’ 1897

Naipes ‘El Leon’ manufactured by Federico Hidalgo (Barcelona, 1897-1899).

Naipes ‘El Leon’ 1897

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

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Spanish-suited playing cards made in Belgium by Léonard Biermans, c.1875.

Anon Spanish Cards c.1875

Canary Islands Souvenir

Canary Islands Souvenir by Heraclio Fournier, c.1970.

Canary Islands Souvenir

Martínez de León

Bull-fighters pack published by Hijos de Heraclio Fournier, Vitoria (Spain) with artwork by Andrés Martínez de León, 1951.

Martínez de León

Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

Standard Catalan-type deck, titled "El Mexicano", by an anonymous Argentinean manufacturer, c.1980s.

Naipes Españoles “El Mexicano”

Foto Joker

'Foto Joker' Spanish playing cards for Matera Color Laboratory, 2008.

Foto Joker

El Jokey by Piatnik, 1990s

‘El Jokey’ Spanish-suited pack by Piatnik & Sons, Vienna, 1990s

El Jokey by Piatnik, 1990s

Xilografías de Mallorca

Spanish National pattern re-printed from original woodblocks which are preserved in the monastery at Valdemosa, Mallorca, c.1960.

Xilografías de Mallorca

Philishave

Spanish-suited advertising deck for Philishave electric razors.

Philishave

Baraja Canaria

‘La Auténtica Baraja Canaria’ was published in 1995 by Justo Pérez as an expression of the history and character of the Canary Islands.

Baraja Canaria

Jaime Margarit - Recreo Infantil

'Recreo Infantil' children's educational cards published by Jaime Margarit, Palamós (Gerona) c.1888.

Jaime Margarit - Recreo Infantil

Benoist Laius

Spanish playing cards such as these were used in those parts of France where certain games were enjoyed, such as Aluette.

Benoist Laius

Baraja Edad Media

Baraja Edad Media, fantasy Spanish-suited medieval playing cards published Mas-Reynals, Barcelona, 1993. Designed by M. Malé and illustrated by V. Maza.

Baraja Edad Media

La Española Classic

‘La Española Classic’ is a traditional ‘La Española’ Spanish-suited pack and is produced in several sizes (standard, round, small and pocket).

La Española Classic

Joan Barbot

Joan Barbot, San Sebastian c.1765-1810.

Joan Barbot

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards.

Taxation on Spanish Playing Cards

Navarra, XVII Century

Facsimile of 17th century Spanish-suited playing cards produced by Erregeak, Sormen S.A., Vitoria-Gasteiz (Alava), Spain, 1988.

Navarra, XVII Century

Cartes Catalanes

Cartes Catalanes are used in a small area in the Eastern Pyrenées region of Southern France.

Cartes Catalanes

Copag Baralho Espanhol

Copag Baralho Espanhol / Naipes Español.

Copag Baralho Espanhol

Anonymous

Anonymous Moroccan Playing Cards for Royal Air Maroc airlines and others...

Anonymous

Chaudsoleil Wine

Chaudsoleil Red Wine advertising playing cards from Morocco.

Chaudsoleil Wine

Dengue

Dengue prevention playing cards. Juego de 40 Naipes. Material para la prevención del Dengue, Ministerio de Salud de la Nación (Argentina).

Dengue

Baraja Digital

Baraja Digital by Naipes De La Cigüeña, 1990.

Baraja Digital

Agostino Bergallo

Agostino Bergallo Spanish pattern made for South American countries

Agostino Bergallo

Giuseppe Cattino

Playing cards manufactured in Italy by Giuseppe Cattino and Paolo Montanar for Spanish markets.

Giuseppe Cattino

Naipes del Salitre

Playing cards recovered from the Northern Chile saltpetre workers. The cards are mostly from Spanish 'Cadiz' pattern decks, and several manufacturers can be identified.

Naipes del Salitre

Pedro Bosio

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.

Pedro Bosio

Maciá Pattern

Maciá Pattern

Maciá Pattern

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’

S. Giráldez, Barcelona

Standard Spanish Catalan pattern playing cards by S. Giráldez, Barcelona, c.1905.

S. Giráldez, Barcelona

Baraja de Amor

Hijos de José Garcia Taboadela was a book-seller who also published this charming pack of lovers' fortune telling cards in 1871.

Baraja de Amor

José Gombau, c.1833

Deck of half-sized [58 x 35 mms] Spanish-suited playing cards in the Maciá pattern produced by José Gombau, c.1833.

José Gombau, c.1833

A Todos Alumbra

40-card "A Todos Alumbra - Naypes Refinos" pack manufactured by Léonard Biermans, Turnhout, c.1880.

A Todos Alumbra

Playing Cards in Cuba

During the colonial years and afterwards, Spanish-suited packs were imported into Cuba.

Playing Cards in Cuba

Sanmarti, 1840

Sanmarti, 1840

Sanmarti, 1840

Mesmaekers Spanish Pack, c.1875

Mesmaekers Spanish Pack for export to Spanish colonies and South American countries, c.1875

Mesmaekers Spanish Pack, c.1875

Spanish Cards c.1920

Spanish-suited Playing Cards manufactured by Van Genechten, c.1920.

Spanish Cards c.1920

Miniature Playing Cards

Crudely printed miniature children's packs produced anonymously in c.1920-30.

Miniature Playing Cards

Moorish playing cards

These two uncoloured, uncut sheets of early Moorish playing cards were formerly preserved in the Instituto Municipal de Historia in Barcelona.

Moorish playing cards

Taller 4

Spanish-suited playing cards by TALLER 4, Buenos Aires, Argentina, c.2000.

Taller 4

Francisco Flores

Playing cards in this style have been discovered in various parts of the world, suggesting that they were exported or carried there by early explorers or merchants.

Francisco Flores

Spanish Cadiz-style pack

Traditional Spanish Cadiz-style pack manufactured by Müller & Cie, Schaffhausen, 1952.

Spanish Cadiz-style pack

Joker S.A.

Playing cards manufactured by Joker S.A.

Joker S.A.

Naipes La Española by Vigor S.R.L.

Naipes La Española Spanish-suited playing cards manufactured by Vigor S.R.L., Buenos Aires, c.1955-75.

Naipes La Española by Vigor S.R.L.