The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published December 08, 2017 Updated June 14, 2023

Hermanos Solesio

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

Italy Fratelli Solesio History Patterns and Suit Types Spanish Suited Add to Collection

Spanish National Pattern / “Money Bag” Type

Money Bag pattern by Hermanos Solesio (Caietano and Pedro Maria Solesio), Genoa, late 18th c. The Fratelli Solesio factory in Genoa supplied regional patterns to many overseas markets. Once their reputation had been established, the name Hermanos Solesi (or Solesio) was used in the Spanish speaking markets. In this example, the ace of coins has the arms of Spain with two scrolls reading “Hermanos Solesi”. However, the sota (or Jack) of coins holds a bag full of money in his right hand, which, along with other features, is a distinctive variation of the Spanish National pattern, associated primarily with Italian card makers from the Finale Ligure region.

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

Above: “Money Bag” pattern by Hermanos Solesi, woodcut and stencils, late 18th century. The four of coins has the initials F.S. [Fratelli Solesi] and a rising sun motif. Note also the trefoil device on the four of cups.

The Fratelli Solesi playing card factories in Genoa exported their wares far and wide. In this way, examples of this pattern reached Spanish dependencies in Manila (Philippines), Peru and Mexico, where, due to its popularity, were sought after and imitated by local manufacturers. This became a challenge for the Official Spanish monopoly in those territories to cards produced in the Royal factory at Macharaviaya (Malaga). The Money Bag pattern also appeared at the Impressão Régia (Lisbon) via Lorenzo María Solesio, Félix Solesio’s older brother, who worked there. Examples are also known produced by Félix Solesio himself. Surprisingly, in spite of its popularity, this pattern was not produced at the Royal factory at Macharaviaya.

Another Example

“Baraja que viene de Europa y cuesta dos reales”.

“Money Bag” pattern by Fratelli Solesi, late 18th c., © Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte

Above “Money Bag” pattern by Fratelli Solesi, mid-late 18th century. 48 cards. The two of cups has the inscription “En Final”. © Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Archivo General de Indias MP Ingenios y Muestras 246.

CREDITS & REFERENCES

Additional research by Alberto Pérez González.

Denning, Trevor: The Playing-Cards of Spain, Cygnus Arts, London, 1996

Pérez González, Alberto: Una introducción y dos precisiones, in “La Sota” Nº19, Asescoin, Madrid, 1998.

Pérez González, Alberto: Anexo: La Baraja Perdida de Félix Solesio, in “La Sota” Nº38, pp.76-77, Asescoin, Madrid.

A further example of this pattern by Hermanos Solesio can be viewed on the British Museum website

avatar
1440 Articles

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.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Analysis of early playing card designs: origins, suit differences, standardization, technological ad...

Introduction to Collecting Themes

Introduction to Collecting Themes

Playing cards can be broadly categorised into standard and non-standard designs, with collectors app...

2021 Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Le Monde Primitif Tarot

Facsimile edition produced by Morena Poltronieri & Ernesto Fazioli of Museo Internazionale dei Taroc...

1996 I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

I Tarocchi del Buongustaio

A less-than-serious set of major arcana on a gourmet theme, with designs by Cosimo Musio.

1975 Poker Lusso

Poker Lusso

Richly costumed courts on a luxury poker pack from Masenghini.

1997 Pinocchio playing cards

Pinocchio playing cards

Comic book drawings inspired by Carlo Collodi’s children’s classic, Pinocchio.

1980 Le Ore playing cards

Le Ore playing cards

Caricatures of famous personalities from the late 1970s for the Italian magazine Le Ore.

1984 Carte Romantiche Italiane

Carte Romantiche Italiane

Scenes of life and the theatre in Milan towards the second half of the 19th century.

1977 Lo Stampatore

Lo Stampatore

‘Lo Stampatore’ linocut images created by Sergio Favret, published as a deck of cards by Editions So...

2015 Leonardo collection

Leonardo collection

Leonardo collection playing cards with drawings from his notebooks.

1981 Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards

Lo Cartescacco / Chess playing cards

Playing cards designed by F. Romagnoli bringing together Chess and Bridge, Italy, c. 1981.

1989 Il Vostro Destino

Il Vostro Destino

Italian fortune-telling pack produced by Viassone and later by Masenghini.

1978 San Paolo Shakespeare

San Paolo Shakespeare

San Paolo Shakespeare, Italy, 1978

1993 Le Carte di Forattini

Le Carte di Forattini

Political caricatures by Giorgio Forattini published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Italy, 1993.

1983 San Paolo Chekhov

San Paolo Chekhov

Characters from Chekhov’s plays designed by Paolo Fresu for San Paolo Istituto Bancario, Italy, c.19...

Storia del Fascismo - gioco di carte

Storia del Fascismo - gioco di carte

‘Storia del Fascismo’ playing cards depicting persons, symbols and artifacts associated with Italian...

2003 The Lovers playing cards

The Lovers playing cards

Reproductions of old postcards with romantic messages for Valentine’s Day.

1985 I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

I Gatti Originali di Evelyne Nicod

Etchings of cats on a set of major arcana created by Evelyne Nicod.

1978 Carte Osteologiche

Carte Osteologiche

Skulls and bones of all descriptions have become the suits and pips in this 40-card pack from Italy....

1973 Marcello Morandini

Marcello Morandini

Modern designs by Italian artist Marcello Morandini using the simplest of forms and colours.

1816 Spanish-suited deck by J.Y. Humphreys

Spanish-suited deck by J.Y. Humphreys

A rare Spanish-suited deck published by J.Y. Humphreys, Philadelphia, c.1816.

1989 Storia del Fascismo

Storia del Fascismo

Published by Il Meneghello, this pack provides a visual history of Fascism in Italy between 1919 and...

75: Early American cards

75: Early American cards

An overview of some of the early cards made in the United States.

2021 Jack-O’-Lantern Tarot

Jack-O’-Lantern Tarot

Giuliano Costa's Jack-O’-Lantern tarot blends Rider-Waite symbolism with the rich and atmospheric th...

1984 Schwarze Katze (or Gioco del Gatto Nero)

Schwarze Katze (or Gioco del Gatto Nero)

Reproduction of a 40-card transformation pack with designs by “WS”, adapted for the game of Black Ca...

2006 Hot-Air Balloons & Co.

Hot-Air Balloons & Co.

Hot-air balloons and airships from the early days to 1988, with designs by S. Baraldi and F. Tacconi...

2000 Carte da Gioco Mongolfiere

Carte da Gioco Mongolfiere

Various hot-air balloons on a pack from a small Florentine publisher.

1975 Mercante in Fiera di Jacovitti

Mercante in Fiera di Jacovitti

Traditional Italian card game with comic designs by Benito Jacovitti.

1981 Le Nuove Minchiate di Firenze

Le Nuove Minchiate di Firenze

Costante Costantini's second Minchiate deck, “Le Nuove Minchiate di Firenze”, was published by Solle...

1906 Bolognese pattern

Bolognese pattern

Standard Bolognese pattern pack by Murari of Bari.

1980 Minchiate Fiorentine

Minchiate Fiorentine

Minchiate Fiorentine created by Costante Costantini, published by Edizioni del Solleone.

1995 I Tarocchi del Cinema (di Sesar)

I Tarocchi del Cinema (di Sesar)

A set of Tarot trumps on the subject of the cinema, with designs by Sergio Sarri.

1975 Le carte della Fortuna

Le carte della Fortuna

Modern Italian fortune-telling pack from 1975, with designs by Sergio Ruffolo.

2007 Art Nouveau Oracle

Art Nouveau Oracle

A Lenormand-type fortune-telling pack in the Art Nouveau style.

1979 Tarocco Indovino

Tarocco Indovino

Sergio Ruffolo’s “Tarocco Indovino” is an expanded version of his “Lo Zodiaco” cartomancy deck.

1986 Il Mercante in Fiera del Solleone

Il Mercante in Fiera del Solleone

Traditional Italian card game with bold designs by Costante Costantini.

1985 Venus et Cupidon

Venus et Cupidon

“Venus et Cupidon” from Costante Costantini in his distinctive woodcut style.

1970 Italia playing cards

Italia playing cards

Small, narrow cards designed by Osvaldo Menegazzi, bearing a strong resemblance to a Swedish pattern...

1971 Napoleone playing cards

Napoleone playing cards

Long, narrow cards designed by Osvaldo Menegazzi, featuring Napoleon, Josephine and various soldiers...

1976 Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico

Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico

Promotional pack for Chianti Classico wine, with designs by Costante Costantini.