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.
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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.
Kings and Queens of Portugal between 1185 - 1279. by V. de J.J. Nunes , Lisbon, Portugal, 1977.
Portuguese regional costumes published by the French division of Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor.
Portuguese proverbs in combination with special courts and suit-signs published by Apenas Livros, Lisbon.
Middle Ages by Germano & Cª, (Litografia Maia),
Matching game by Majora, Lisbon, c.1970, featuring figures in national dress from Portuguese provinces and colonies
Attractive deck by the Portuguese maker Maillard, c.1885 with scenic aces and German-style courts
“Ilha da Madeira” Souvenir playing cards with 54 colour views of the archipelago.
The highly individual Sicilian Tarot has the Italo-Portuguese suit system with straight, interlocking swords and batons, and maids instead of jacks
19th century Portuguese pattern, re-printed from original woodblocks.
Whist No. 32 - Cartas de Jogar Nunes
Portuguese type pack with ‘dragon’ aces made in Belgium by Mesmaekers Frères, Turnhout, c.1875-1900
Portuguese Type Playing Cards made in Belgium, c.1878.
Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards - Lisbon
Portuguese Conjuring Playing Cards, c.1850.
Fragment of a sheet of archaic Spanish-suited 'Dragon' playing cards found during restoration of a house in Antwerp built between 1559 and 1574
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, Lisbon, Portugal
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.
Spanische Spielkarten "Naipes Finos" No.304, manufactured by B. Dondorf designed by the catalan artist Apel-les Mestres, Barcelona, 1902.