José Martínez de Castro
Cards from a deck etched on copper by José Martínez de Castro and first published by Clemente Roxas in Madrid in 1810. This example is from the second (censored) edition of 1812, in which extra drapery has been added to the miniature nude figures.
Similar designs were used in the 1850s by Manuel Bertschinger y Codina and Sebastian Comas y Ricart, both from Barcelona. The designs have also been copied by Italian cardmakers in the 20th century. A facsimile was published by Heraclio Fournier (Vitoria, Spain) in 1977, titled Baraja Neoclasica.
The most noteworthy feature of its history is that this design has since been adopted for use in Sardinia, where it is now regarded as the standard local pattern. Allowing for the limitations of present-day production methods, the Sardinian pack follows the Roxas original quite closely.
Member since February 01, 1996
Founder 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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