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Published May 03, 2005 Updated August 19, 2023

Heraclio Fournier S.A.

Founded in 1868, today it is part of Cartamundi.

Spain Heraclio Fournier Add to Collection

In 1868 Heraclio Fournier González (1849-1916), descendant of renowned master printers of Paris, founded a small playing card factory in Vitoria, Spain. The workshops were originally located in Plaza Nueva where he trialled new printing methods and achieved success with the quality of his playing cards. On his death the business was managed by his nephew Félix Alfaro Fournier (1895–1989) who began the Fournier Playing Card collection (Museo Fournier de Naipes) which is based at Diputación Foral de Álava. Today the playing card business is part of Cartamundi. A history of the company can be found on their website:

Fournier's first playing cards, 1868

Above: Heraclio Fournier's first playing cards, printed from lithographic stones, 1868. A facsimile edition was published in 1994.

original designs for Fournier's Castilian pattern

Above: Emilio Soubrier, from the local Art and Design College, was commissioned in 1877 by D. Heraclio Fournier to produce a new definitive set of playing card designs. These were produced with assistance from Ignacio Díaz de Olano (top row). Ten years later, the designs were revised by Augusto Rius and became the standard ‘Castilian’ pattern which is used today around the world (bottom row)   see more →

Newspaper article 13-08-1934

The above newspaper article appeared in August, 1934. The pack referred to in the article is shown below.

Ibero-American deck, 1929

Fournier at its best...

América, 1960
Ancient Civilisations, 1973
Europe, 1962
European Naval Powers, 1981
Descubridores y Colonizadores de America, 1952
Canary Islands Souvenir
Loewe, 1959
Classic, 1959
Baraja Gaucha
Martínez de León Baraja Taurina, 1951
Naipe Nacional, 1938
Baraja ‘Goyesca’ - a facsimile of an original engraved deck published in Madrid by Clemente de Roxas, 1814
“Far East” playing cards with designs by Isabel Ibáñez de Sendadiano manufactured by Heraclio Fournier S.A., c.1980
East Africa Souvenir, 1957
Philishave, 1978

Fabricación de Naipes, 1891

Inside the Fournier playing card factory in Vitoria, Spain...

Above: Un empleado de Naipes Fournier en Vitoria comprueba el corte de las cartas  read more

See Online Catalogue of the Museo Fournier de Naipes de Álava

More examples of playing cards manufactured by Heraclio Fournier S.A.:   República Española Souvenir ::: Romance Español ::: Baraja Andaluza ::: Baraja Turistica ::: Monumentos de España ::: El Cid 9th Centenary ::: Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America ::: Castilian pattern ::: No.35 "Rueda Alada" Catalan pattern ::: No.40 Poker ::: No.505 Poker ::: No.55 Catalan pattern ::: No.5 Catalan pattern ::: No.5P Cadiz pattern for export to Peru ::: Fernando Pessoa & Co Playing Cards ::: Habemus Boda, 2004 ::: №260

1,432 Articles

By Simon Wintle

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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1983 España Imperial

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