The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published June 13, 2022 Updated December 04, 2022

Chocolate playing cards with scenes from World War 1

An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920.

1920 Spain Chocolate Angelical Durá El Cid Advertising Aviation Chocolate Collectible Food & Cooking Wartime Add to Collection

Chocolate playing cards are not made of chocolate, but are cards advertising chocolate products. They were especially popular is Spain during the 1920's and 1930's although some date back to end of the 19th. century. During their peak packs were produced depicting famous film stars of the era, popular sporting figures, renowned bullfighters and cartoon characters. The packs were always Spanish suited, often with modified suit signs, with advertising on the backs of the cards. The cards could often be collected individually as insert cards from packets of chocolate.

This scarce pack of playing cards is unusual because of the subject matter. The front of the cards show a reduced size standard Spanish pattern card with advertising on each end for Chocolate Angelical from Barcelona. The cards were made by Simeón Durá of Valencia, shown on the 4 of swords, the four of coins indicating 'Poker Español' and the 4 of cups indicating the registered brand name 'El Cid', used by Simeón Durá over a long period.

However, this extraordinary pack has beautifully detailed scenes of land, sea and air battles in oval frames on the reverse of each card, 48 in total, all printed in colourful chromolithography. There is a short description in Spanish. The reverse of each ace has a gallery of leaders and military figures from the different countries involved in the war. It is possible that the cards were collected separately, but I am not sure if that is the case with this pack.
To be able to fully appreciate the artistry of this pack I have scanned all 48 cards which can be seen below. The artist is unknown. An earlier version of this pack showed the battle scenes in rectangular frames.

References:

  • The Playing Cards of Spain, Trevor Denning 1996, Plate 5
  • La Sota 4, No.33

All cards shown are from the collection of Paul Symons ©.

avatar
71 Articles

By Paul Symons

Member since February 01, 2016

I'm British but I have now lived in the Netherlands for more than 50 years and am still enjoying every minute of it. I started collecting playing cards in the early 1980’s after speaking with my neighbour who was at that time a croupier in a casino. I started with just collecting jokers, but that soon led me to complete packs of cards and eventually to specialising in old and antique playing cards, particularly those of C.L. Wüst of Frankfurt, Germany. I am presently the Dutch representative of the I.P.C.S. and the auctioneer at the IPCS conventions.


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 Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 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 Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Introduction to Collecting Themes

Introduction to Collecting Themes

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

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.

1981 Haushaltgeräte

Haushaltgeräte

Publicity pack for VEB Kombinat Haushaltgeräte, makers of household goods, with designs by Volker Ha...

2024 Traditional Cyprus Recipes

Traditional Cyprus Recipes

Traditional recipes from Cyprus, with a small photo of each dish.

1961 Sweetule Natural History cards

Sweetule Natural History cards

Small cards featuring natural history subjects, given away with packets of sweet cigarettes.

Miniature spanish-suited playing cards

Miniature spanish-suited playing cards

Pack of 48 miniature spanish playing-cards published by C R.

2010 Manara: baraja de poker

Manara: baraja de poker

Exotic illustrations by Italian comic book artist and writer Milo Manara.

1980 Club Soft Drinks

Club Soft Drinks

Promotional pack for Club soft drinks with amusing illustrations of different kinds of ‘club’.

1984 Mit Rhino auftrumpfen

Mit Rhino auftrumpfen

Black rhinos on a publicity pack for Armstrong, a flooring company, with comic designs by Pit Flick....

2018 Marmite

Marmite

Fifty-Four images celebrating a UK savoury spread, that has been around one hundred and twenty two y...

G&G Armament playing cards

G&G Armament playing cards

G&G Armament Airsoft replica gun playing cards from Taiwan.

2005 Absolut Deck

Absolut Deck

Promotional deck published for Absolut Vodka in Sweden.

2010 Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland collector’s edition with illustrations of characters from the film, published by...

2001 Kuzco, l’empereur mégalo

Kuzco, l’empereur mégalo

Notched cards featuring toys representing characters from the Disney film Kuzco, as offered by McDon...

2001 Women by Royo

Women by Royo

‘Women by Royo’ erotic playing cards published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain, 2001.

1985 Hilti I

Hilti I

Promotional pack for Hilti power tools, with courts in medieval costume and non-standard pips.

1964 Monuments de Paris

Monuments de Paris

‘Monuments de Paris’ souvenir playing cards produced by Heraclio Fournier, c.1964.

1990 Transair

Transair

Humorous designs promoting Transair, a German charter flight operator.

1972 Feh Schnapskarten

Feh Schnapskarten

Colourful promotional pack for Feh household and toilet papers.

1993 Hansaplast<sup>®</sup>

Hansaplast®

Advertising pack for Hansaplast, with comic courts sporting sticking plasters.

1988 Lorilleux International

Lorilleux International

Promotional pack for Lorilleux International’s Lotus inks, with designs by James Hodges.

1986 B. Braun-Dexon<sup>®</sup>

B. Braun-Dexon®

Publicity pack promoting B. Braun-Dexon’s atraumatic needles, with non-standard courts and pips.

1977 Bibaraja

Bibaraja

Amusing designs of boys as circus performers by Alberto Muñiz Sánchez.

1986 Peintres Latino Americains

Peintres Latino Americains

Original artwork by 18 different Latin American artists.

1991 54 Affiches Retro

54 Affiches Retro

54 different old French advertising posters, mainly for travel and health products.

1985 Paco Lobo

Paco Lobo

Highly original and striking designs by Paco Lobo for the fashion house of the same name.

1970 Loewe: Moda Europea Siglo XVII

Loewe: Moda Europea Siglo XVII

Luxury pack for the Spanish fashion house Loewe, with 17th century costume designs by Margot Hamilto...

1988 Toros: De El Cordobés a Espartaco

Toros: De El Cordobés a Espartaco

Publicity pack for the Spanish newspaper Ya with caricatures of famous bullfighters by Fernan...

1994 Baraja de Alava

Baraja de Alava

55 different paintings by Emilio Lope depicting the history and culture of Vitoria and the province ...

1996 Postak – Las Postas

Postak – Las Postas

‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Spain, 1...

1965 ČZ playing cards

ČZ playing cards

Advertising pack for the Czechoslovak motorcycle factory Česká Zbrojovka.

1987 Bischofszell

Bischofszell

Advertising pack for the food producer Bischofszell, designed by Heinz Looser-Brenner, with non-stan...

1975 Scheffmacher

Scheffmacher

Advertising pack for Scheffmacher, master painters in Schaffhausen, with comic designs by Fritz Bünz...

1968 Knoll International

Knoll International

Geometric designs by the French artist Jean Garçon for Knoll International, the furniture company.

1980 SEMP playing cards

SEMP playing cards

Modified Anglo-American courts advertising a French medical publishing company.

1984 Tarot de Madrid

Tarot de Madrid

Black-and-white photographs of models whose faces are made up using elements found on the major arca...

2017 Campari playing cards

Campari playing cards

Publicity pack for Campari, designed for the Portuguese or Brazilian market.

1985 Hôtels-Grils Campanile

Hôtels-Grils Campanile

Publicity pack for the Campanile hotel and restaurant chain featuring French provincial costumes, wi...

2023 Naipes de Personajes Granadinos

Naipes de Personajes Granadinos

Forty famous men and women with links to Granada, on a pack designed by Rubén Garrido.

2010 El Niño de las Pinturas

El Niño de las Pinturas

Forty-nine distinctive works by Spanish graffiti artist Raúl Ruiz.