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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.

Las Dos Torres

Naipe Extra 'Las Dos Torres' manufactured by Pasatiempos Gallo S.A. de C.V., Mexico.

Mexican card players

Naipe Extra ‘Las Dos Torres’ - a new digitally enhanced Spanish-suited playing card design, manufactured by Pasatiempos Gallo S.A. de C.V., Querétaro, Mexico. These designs were originally published by Clemente Jacques y Cia from the 1920s - 1940s, in lithographically-printed editions of 40 cards, square corners, based on the Spanish ‘Catalan’ pattern. The name and symbolic motifs were derived from cards originally made by the Barcelona cardmaker Torras y Lleó.

Naipe Extra 'Las Dos Torres' manufactured by Pasatiempos Gallo S.A. de C.V., Mexico.

Above: Naipe Extra 'Las Dos Torres' manufactured by Pasatiempos Gallo S.A. de C.V., Mexico. The Ace of Coins has a shimmering gold medal bearing the arms of Castille and Leon.

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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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