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Published October 03, 2010 Updated July 11, 2023

Pedro Bosio, 2

Cards of the Spanish National Pattern manufactured by Pedro Bosio, Genova (Italy) during the 18th century for export to South America.

Italy Latin America Bosio Spanish Suited Add to Collection

Pedro Bosio, Genova

Spanish National Pattern, made in Italy, 18th century.

Genovese cardmakers enjoyed a lucrative business during the 18th and 19th centuries manufacturing Spanish-suited cards for territories in South America, probably in defiance of the Spanish monopolies in those territories. In this example, the Ace of Coins has a central disc enclosing an eagle with the arms of Spain, with baroque cartouches above and below which read “Pedro Bosio Estanquero In Ghenova”. The Five of Coins features the facing profiles of Ferdinand and Isabella, and the Four of Coins has a six-pointed star which contains the initials P.B. This derivative of the Spanish National pattern seems to have had a history outside of Spain itself and this example, originally produced in Italy, has come to light in a Chilean collection. See another example by Pedro Bosio

Pedro Bosio Estanquero in Ghenova

Above: cards manufactured by Pedro Bosio, Genova (Italy) during the 18th century and probably for export to South America. The design corresponds closely to the Spanish National pattern. The cavalier of cups lacks the usual inscription of ‘Ahí Va’ and instead the ground is shaded beneath him. The cards are printed from woodblocks and hand-coloured using stencils. Images courtesy Alberto Campos.

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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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