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Published November 04, 2011 Updated July 02, 2022

Naipes Nacionales

Naipes Nacionales designed by Manuel Bayardi and published by Clemente Jacques y Cia, Mexico c.1940.

1940 Mexico Clemente Jacques Manuel Bayardi Amerindian Ethnic & Indigenous Nationalism Add to Collection

Naipes Nacionales, Mexico, c.1940

Aztec playing cards celebrating the history and customs of the Mexican people...

Naipes Nacionales were designed by Manuel Bayardi and published by Clemente Jacques y Cia., Mexico in c.1940. The designs are based on the clothing, decorations and weapons of the Aztec people after having been researched by Mr Bayardi in manuscripts and the National Museum. The suit symbols are the traditional Spanish ones: coins, clubs, cups & swords. The printing is by chromolithography in eight colours. Decks were issued as single decks (40 cards in a paper wrapper) and also in double boxed sets with matching back designs in blue and red. The back design features an Aztec calendar with four cups.

Naipes Nacionales, designed by Manuel Bayardi and published by Clemente Jacques y Cia, Mexico c.1940

Above: the magnificent 'Naipes Nacionales' designed by Manuel Bayardi and published by Clemente Jacques y Cia, Mexico c.1940   (click image to zoom).  The name of the manufacturer appears on the Jacks of Cups and Clubs. Although the suit symbols are traditional Spanish ones, the court cards are apparently based on persons from Aztec history but are not identified on the cards. Some anachronisms have crept in, as the Aztecs apparently did not ride on horseback although the native Mexican Indian people did acquire horses from the Spaniards.

Manuel Bayardi is possibly the same person whose biography is shown here →.   According to research carried out by Enrique García, the brand name ‘Naipes Nacionales’ had been registered by Clemente Jacques y Cia as early as 1895 and again in 1912. The designs of the earlier editions appear to have been by a different artist and were more rudimentary than those shown here.


References:

García Martín, Enrique: Clemente Jacques, in LA SOTA no.15, Asescoin, Madrid, September 1996

García Martín, Enrique: Los Naipes en el Cono Sur Americano, in LA SOTA no.17, Asescoin, Madrid, October 1997

García Martín, Enrique: Las Barajas de Símbolos Españoles en América, in LA SOTA no.25, Asescoin, Madrid, September 2001

See also:   Naipe VictoriaSouvenir of MexicoEl FenixEl LeónGallo Intransparente

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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.

3 comments

Christina martinez's Avatar'

I recently came across a bunch of playing cards and I have this naipes nacionales deck. It’s obvious the deck is very old.I don’t know much about Playing Cards but now have an interest in them and would like to know more about them and what I have.

Simon Wintle's Avatar'

Hi Christina, we hope you will find all the information you need, this is the best site for Latin American cards. All the info we have about Naipes Nacionales is on this page. You can add any extra images or information if you have something interesting, such as a different edition or some new facts. Kind regards.

Wendy Rhodes's Avatar'

My Abuelita used this deck to read tarot, I have it but the cards are so fragile that I am afraid to handle them much.


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