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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.


Productos Camacho, c.2003

Productos Camacho

Naipes Camacho, made in Mexico, c.2003

Mexico has a large number of businesses whose main product is not playing cards, but who produce one or two packs as a novelty or promotional item, often made by their packaging or printing departments. There are no manufacturer's details printed on these cards apart from ‘Productos Camacho’ and ‘Hecho en Mexico’ and we are not sure who the actual manufacturer is. The designs are based loosely on the Spanish ‘Castilian’ style, with Mexican-style cavaliers and female pages. The artist's name is not known.

Playing Cards made by Productos Camacho, Mexico, c.2003

Above: Spanish-suited playing cards made by Productos Camacho, Mexico, c.2003. 40 cards, square corners. The reverse has the word 'CAMACHO' inside a pink geometric design.


By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.