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Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards - Lisbon

Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards - Lisbon

Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) ranks with the most important Modernist poets of the 20th century. His celebrity is partly due to the way in which he wrote his work, using different names, or 'heteronyms', corresponding to various personalities which he invented. "A poet is a pretender", he wrote in a famous poem.

Some of the verse extracts which appear in this pack of cards belong to those other personalities of Pessoa's world: Alberto Caiero, Álvaro de Campos, Bernardo Soares and Ricardo Reis.

The designer of the pack, Pedro Baptista, succeeds well in capturing the essence of a poet's mind in a visual form. The verses are set in a typewriter font, aesthetically quaint and unpretentious, against soft, unfocused 'photograms' occupying the entire card face. This conveys a sense of thoughts floating in imaginary dimensions of space - cyberspace perhaps. Corner indices, also in typewriter, and discrete pips finish off the arrangement. On the back, an ink splotch on a pale cream background, fallen no doubt from the poet's poised pen, conspiring, with the typewriter, against modern technology.

Above: two cards from Fernando Pessoa & Co playing cards.

The text in the leaflet is by Manuela Parreira da Silva, an expert on the work of Fernando Pessoa and a teacher of modern literature in the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. The cards are manufactured to a very high standard of quality by Naipes H Fournier in a limited edition of 5,500 packs of which 3,500 are in Portuguese and 1,000 each in English and Spanish. They come in a sturdy tuck box, cellowrapped, 52 cards + 3 jokers + leaflet.


By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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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.

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1977 Algarve playing cards

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1982 Trajes Regionais Portugueses

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

2019 O Baralho dos Provérbios!

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

2003 Alice


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Gulliver im Land der Zwerge

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Gulliver in the Land of Dwarfs quartet published by Verlag für Lehrmittel, Pößneck.

1981 El Gato con Botas

El Gato con Botas

Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.

1992 Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América

Quinto Centenario del Descubrimiento de América

Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America by Heraclio Fournier, 1992.

1984 Pato Donald

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Donald Duck card game © Walt Disney Productions, by Naipes Fournier, 1984.

2013 Crikey!


Crikey! Classic British Comics playing cards published by Bird Playing Cards, 2013.

1989 Sherlock Holmes

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Sherlock Holmes deck with caricatures by Jeff Decker published by Gemaco Playing Card Co. 1989

1981 Caperucita Roja

Caperucita Roja

Caperucita Roja card game published by H. Fournier, 1981.

1981 Pulgarcito


Pulgarcito (Tom Thumb) card game published by H Fournier, 1981.

1983 Inspector Gadget

Inspector Gadget

The Adventures of Inspector Gadget quartet game published by Fournier in 1983.

1979 Familias de 7 Paises

Familias de 7 Paises

“Familias de 7 Paises” card game published by Naipes H. Fournier S.A, Vitoria, 1979.

1950 Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels card game no.293 published by Piatnik, c.1950.

1972 Parejas del Mundo

Parejas del Mundo

“Parejas del Mundo” matching pairs card game by Naipes H. Fournier, 1972.

1981 Aventuras de Sport-Billy

Aventuras de Sport-Billy

The Adventures of Sport-Billy by H. Fournier, 1981.

1984 Chinese Costumes

Chinese Costumes

Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.

1951 Authors


Authors quartet game published by Whitman Publishing Co., 1951.

Dickens Snap

Dickens Snap

Dickens Snap, c.1890.

1927 Middle Ages

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

1995 Educación Vial

Educación Vial

Educación Vial (Road Safety) card game published by H. Fournier, 1995.

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Mary Whitmore Jones and her Chastleton Patience Board

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1908 Wonderland Misfitz

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1995 101 Dalmatas

101 Dalmatas

101 Dalmatas by Naipes Fournier, 1995,

2019 World of Harry Potter

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1970 Casais Portugueses

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

1895 Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair No.41 Playing Cards by the United States Playing Card Co, 1895. All the number cards have been imaginatively transformed.



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1759 Aesop’s Fables

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Aesop’s Fables playing cards by I. Kirk, c.1759.

2018 Alice in Wonderland

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2000 Martín Fierro

Martín Fierro

Naipes “Martín Fierro” based on the epic poem by José Hernandez.

2019 On The Cards

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A Motley Pack - transformation playing cards & ‘On The Cards’ book facsimile published by Sunish Chabba, 2019.

2005 Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire

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Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, 2005.

1970 Characters of “The Water Margin”

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Characters from the Chinese novel “The Water Margin” - 水滸撲克.

1980 Le Avventure di Pinocchio

Le Avventure di Pinocchio

Avventure di Pinocchio by Dal Negro, based on Carlo Collodi’s famous 1883 novel “The Adventures of Pinocchio”.

1966 Baraja Turística de España

Baraja Turística de España

Baraja Turística de España by Heraclio Fournier, 1966.

Beatrix Potter’s Rummy

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Beatrix Potter’s Rummy published by Gibsons Games, c.1985.

1997 Hercules


Hercules card game published by Herclio Fournier, 1997.