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Published November 09, 2017 Updated December 22, 2023

Anonymous Spanish Suited pack, c.1760

Anonymous archaic Spanish suited pack, c.1760.

1760 Belgium Latin America Spain History Archaic Patterns Add to Collection

Fantasy “Felipe V” Spanish Suited pack based on popular models, anonymous manufacturer, c.1760. The pack contains 52 cards; unusual in that it has numeral cards up to 10, plus ‘Sotas’, ‘Caballos’ and ‘Reyes’. The original version of this deck, dedicated to Philip V on the ace of coins, is the work of the Sarton Bros & Sisters of Brussels (active 1745-67), whose name appeared on the banner of the ace and five of swords. Obviously destined for Spanish markets, the deck consists of a strange mixture of models where the presence of a lion stands out in all the figures, and the king of clubs holds the classic pharmaceutical symbol. The absence of ‘pintas’ (border breaks) and the unusual number of 52 cards underscore the rarity of a deck of obvious Nordic iconography; while the mock Latin inscriptions on the ace and five of coins are amusing nonsense.

Anonymous Spanish Suited pack, c.1760

Above: Fantasy “Felipe V” deck, based on popular models, of 52 cards. Engraved in woodcut and coloured by stenciling, c. 1760. Unknown manufacturer.

In Europe, especially in Belgium, decks were manufactured with Spanish design for export to the immense Spanish-speaking overseas market, or even by order of the Spanish manufacturers themselves.

REFERENCES and CREDITS

Thanks to Alberto Pérez González for images and additional research.

Cary Collection (BEL 33).

detail from La riña en la Venta Nueva, 1777

Above: detail from La Riña en la Venta Nueva by Francisco de Goya, 1777. Museo del Prado, Madrid.

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By Alberto Pérez González

Member since December 21, 2016

I am a researcher and my primary interest lies in playing cards manufactured in Cádiz (not the 'Cádiz' type in general). I have authored several articles in the annual Asescoin magazine 'La Sota'. Among them are: “Madrid’s Playing Cards from the 17th to the 20th Century”; “New Contributions to the Study of Playing Cards in the Valencian Country”; “The Fouquets: 'Navarra pattern' in the Netherlands”; “Divided Playing Cards: Combining Ingenuity with Skill”; “Here Be Dragons: Speculations on the Evolution of the so-called 'Portuguese' Pattern”; “Playing Cards in Chile: News and Chronicles from the Viceroyalty Era”...

I have written and designed the book “Los Naipes de Cádiz” (296 pp). Additionally, I have contributed to the design, layout, and collaboration in Enrique García Martín’s book “Naipes, Arte y Fantasía” (444 pp).


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