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Published August 14, 2020 Updated April 03, 2022

Tonalamatl

Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript.

1985 Mexico Amerindian Ethnic & Indigenous Add to Collection

Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript - “A synthesis of Mesoamerican Cosmogonical, Chronometrical, Astronomical and Mathematical thought”. The cards run from 1 - 13 in each colour, plus 20 violet cards and six extra cards, making a total of 78 cards. See the Box

Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript
Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript

Above: cards from Baraja Tonalamatl Mexican Aztec playing cards based on the prehispanic Codex Borgia manuscript, 78 cards in box, unknown publisher / manufacturer, copyright 1985. Because it contains 78 cards it has also been regarded as a tarot deck. The violet cards are numbered from 1 to 20 using the numbers printed in the bottom panel, although the top panels have a completely different order. The unnumbered violet card which has no number could be construed to be the number 0 Fool card from a tarot deck. There are no clues on the box and we don't have any instructions.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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