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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.

F. Munguia

Spanish-suited playing cards from a 40-card pack by F. Munguia, Merced 8, Mexico, c.1868. F. Munguia produced playing cards with brand names 'La Campana', 'La Estrella' and 'El Aguila' during the period c.1868-c.1882.

F. Munguia, playing card manufacturer, Mexico, c.1868-c.1882

Spanish-suited playing cards from a 40-card pack by F. Munguia, Merced 8, Mexico, c.1868. F. Munguia produced playing cards with brand names 'La Campana', 'La Estrella' and 'El Aguila' during the period c.1868-c.1882. It is not clear whether a relationship existed with P. Munguia (founded 1872). It is unusual to see the numbering run consecutively from 1-10, rather than omitting 8 & 9 and running to 12. Stencil-coloured cards, based on archaic Spanish designs size: 84x53 mm.

F. Munguia, playing card manufacturer, Mexico, c.1868-c.1882
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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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

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