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Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Fournier No.35 Spanish-suited playing cards

Fournier No.35 Spanish-suited playing cards imported into Argentina by Fagoaga y Compañía (Bertrand Domec), c.1970.

Heraclio Fournier No.35 "Rueda Alada" Spanish-suited playing cards imported into Argentina by Fagoaga y Compañía (Bertrand Domec), c.1970

Heraclio Fournier No.35 Rueda Alada Spanish-suited playing cards imported into Argentina by Fagoaga y Compañía (Bertrand Domec), c.1970 Heraclio Fournier No.35 Rueda Alada Spanish-suited playing cards imported into Argentina by Fagoaga y Compañía (Bertrand Domec), c.1970

This particular brand and design had been acquired by Fournier in take-overs of earlier playing-card manufacturers. In this example the four of cups is overprinted with the details of Fagoaga y Compañía, importers, Buenos Aires.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

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