The World of Playing Cards Logo

Playing Cards designed by Apeles Mestres, c.1905

Playing Cards designed by Apeles Mestres, c.1905

Apeles Mestres was a Catalan painter-illustrator who worked from the end of the XIX century into the early XX century. His designs for a pack of playing cards were originally produced by Dondorf of Frankfurt in around 1902. The version shown on this page, published by Costa y Valerio in around 1905, was printed in outlines only, and has been partly hand-coloured with watercolours.


The influence on Portuguese card-making of Frankfurt cardmakers can also be seen in the German-style cards made by Litografia Uniao Ltd in c.1960.


Images courtesy of José Manuel Murcia.

avatar

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator 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.


Leave a Reply

Recommended

1977 Algarve playing cards

Algarve playing cards

Kings and Queens of Portugal between 1185 - 1279. by V. de J.J. Nunes , Lisbon, Portugal, 1977.

1982 Trajes Regionais Portugueses

Trajes Regionais Portugueses

Portuguese regional costumes published by the French division of Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor.

2019 O Baralho dos Provérbios!

O Baralho dos Provérbios!

Portuguese proverbs in combination with special courts and suit-signs published by Apenas Livros, Lisbon.

1927 Middle Ages

Middle Ages

Middle Ages by Germano & Cª, (Litografia Maia),

1970 Casais Portugueses

Casais Portugueses

Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies

1885 Non-standard deck by Maillard

Non-standard deck by Maillard

Attractive deck by the Portuguese maker Maillard, c.1885 with scenic aces and German-style courts

Madeira Souvenir

Madeira Souvenir

“Ilha da Madeira” Souvenir playing cards with 54 colour views of the archipelago.

1960 Tarocco Siciliano

Tarocco Siciliano

The highly individual Sicilian Tarot has the Italo-Portuguese suit system with straight, interlocking swords and batons, and maids instead of jacks

Portuguese pattern

Portuguese pattern

19th century Portuguese pattern, re-printed from original woodblocks.

Whist No. 32

Whist No. 32

Whist No. 32 - Cartas de Jogar Nunes

Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium

Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium

Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900

Portuguese Type Cards made in Belgium

Portuguese Type Cards made in Belgium

Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium, c.1878.

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards - Lisbon

1850 Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards

Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards

Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards, c.1850.

Early Spanish/Portuguese type

Early Spanish/Portuguese type

Fragment of a sheet of archaic Spanish-suited 'Dragon' playing cards found during restoration of a house in Antwerp built between 1559 and 1574

1860 Portuguese Type Playing Cards c.1860

Portuguese Type Playing Cards c.1860

10 cards from a pack of later Portuguese ‘Dragon’ type cards from c.1860, with the Maid of batons about to club a dog.

Playing Cards by J J Nunes

Playing Cards by J J Nunes

Playing Cards by J J Nunes, Lisbon, Portugal

Portuguese Playing Cards

Portuguese Playing Cards

The Real Fábrica de Cartas de Jogar was founded in 1769, by Royal Charter of King José, under the master craftsman Lorenzo Solezio, brother of Félix Solesio who ran the Spanish Real Fábrica at Macharaviaya.

1902 Naipes Finos — No.304 Spanish Pack

Naipes Finos — No.304 Spanish Pack

Spanische Spielkarten "Naipes Finos" No.304, manufactured by B. Dondorf designed by the catalan artist Apel-les Mestres, Barcelona, 1902.