Cádiz Pattern playing cards

View of the bay and port of Cádiz

When the Real Fabrica's export monopoly came to an end in 1811, independent card makers, particularly those of Cádiz (Andalusia), saw an opportunity to fulfil the markets. Thus, during the 19th century the Spanish Cadiz pattern was widely exported to former Spanish colonies and Spanish speaking territories, especially Latin America, Philippines, Cuba and USA. Indeed, trade was so lucrative that foreign manufacturers also began competing in the market with their own versions of the Cadiz pattern, either copied from established Spanish brands or else closely imitating them.

As Alberto Pérez González (2015) explains, firstly, Belgian manufacturers began by actually supplying some Spanish manufacturers with cards, but later on began exporting directly. Meanwhile most leading Spanish manufacturers added a Cadiz pattern to their range. Soon manufacturers in Germany, Switzerland, Austria etc produced their own versions of the Cadiz pattern. Over time these versions of the Cadiz pattern became house patterns of local manufacturers in former Spanish influenced countries and in many instances are still being printed today.

A distinctive style of playing cards evolved which became familiar in the foreign destination countries, known as the "Cádiz" pattern or "Andalucian" type. However, most of these Cadiz pattern packs printed in Latin America today are copied from either “El Heraldo” by Segundo de Olea Aguilera or from “Los Dos Tigres” by González Risso.


Playing cards recovered from the saltpetre workers from Northern Chile, 1850-1940


Naipes “La Estrella” for BOLS by Igor Domicelj, Bs Aires, c.1954


Cadiz style by La Primitiva, Bs Aires c.1905


Naipes Marca Mapocho, Santiago de Chile


Naipes El Heraldo, Segundo de Olea, Cádiz


Juan Roura, Barcelona, c.1940


Federico Hidalgo c.1897




Litografía Fabbri, Lima, Peru



El Salvador

Naipes Cisne, El Salvador


Müller Cádiz type pack


Los Leones, USA

GERMANY for Cuba

Wüst Spanish Cadiz pattern deck for export to Cuba c.1910-1920, advertising ‘Tropical’ beer


‘Elephante No.50’ Cadiz pattern produced in Brazil, probably by Azevedo & Cia, Recife, c.1920

SPAIN for Peru

'El Caballo' brand (No.5-P) playing-cards manufactured in Spain by Heraclio Fournier S.A. especially for the Estanco de Naipes del Perú, c.1960


Litografía Fabbri, Lima, Peru, c.1900-20
ROLDAN & CIA tobacco insert cards, PERU c.1895

Above; miniature playing cards inset into top corners of tobacco cards for Roldan y Cia Tobacco, Lima, c.1895.

Map of Southern Spain


Pérez González, Alberto: Los Naipes de Cádiz, Punto Rojo Libros, S.L., Sevilla, 2015.

Last Updated May 01, 2017 at 10:46am


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