The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published July 03, 1996 Updated July 17, 2023

Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya

This is the official Spanish National pattern of the 18th century. Design and production was controlled from Madrid as a source of national or regional revenue. The factory was located in the town of Macharaviaya, in the province of Málaga.

Latin America Spain Félix Solesio Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya History Spanish National Pattern Add to Collection

Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya (Málaga)

Félix Solesio

detail from Félix Solesio, Spanish National pattern, 1786

Revenues from the sales of playing cards in Central and South America had been a state monopoly since 1552, in the reign of Felipe II, who had issued a decree setting out the terms by which it was to be regulated. Packs were to be sold in paper wrappers tied with string and officially stamped. Officers were appointed to be in charge of ensuring the business was run correctly. To begin with cards destined for the Americas were manufactured solely in Mexico but due to irregular production as well as illegal imports (probably Italian) new orders were given that they should be produced in Spain.

The Real Fábrica de Madrid had been in existence since at least 1755, but in 1776 a Royal Letters Patent was issued authorising Don Félix Solesio to establish the Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya to supply playing cards to the Americas and particularly to Mexico - “Para las Indias”. The new factory was quickly built and was of benefit to the local community in terms of employment opportunities, urban development and cultural enrichment. It is recorded that in September 1777 15,000 decks produced in Macharaviaya were shipped to Mexico. Solesio was a distinguished name in the playing card industry, and as it happens, Félix Solesio's brother Lorenzo had been appointed master craftsman in the Portuguese Real Fábrica de Cartas de Jogar in 1769.

Félix Solesio, Spanish National pattern, 1786
Félix Solesio, Spanish National pattern Macharaviaya ace of coins, undated © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: an odd ace of coins having the arms of Spain on the suit-mark, above and below which are scrolls bearing poorly spelled inscriptions: 'Real Fabrica Macharaviaya por D. Felix Solesio e hijos.' © The Trustees of the British Museum

Above: cards from a pack by Don Félix Solesio destined for Mexico or South America, dated 1786 on the Ace of Cups. The two of Coins has the legend “Para las Indias”; in other examples this might be “Para Caracas” or “Para La Havana” showing that the packs were destined for Spanish colonies in Central (‘West Indies’) or South America. This is the official Spanish National pattern of the 18th century. Design and production was controlled from Madrid as a source of national or regional revenue. The factory was located in the town of Macharaviaya, in the province of Málaga

Above: the former playing card factory at Macharaviaya. Photo credit: Marilo Marb.

Above: the former playing card factory at Macharaviaya. Photo credit: © 2017 Diputación de Málaga.

More Examples

Spanish National pattern, Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1809

Above: Spanish National pattern, Félix Solesio, Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1809. Taken from: “Pruebas de naipes de la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya (Málaga), para el tipo superfino”, Archivo General de Indias, MP-INGENIOS,210

The date of closure of the Macharaviaya factory is reckoned to be 1815 [See here].

Several derivatives of this design have survived in various parts of the world, such as French ‘Aluette’ cards, ‘Parisian’ Spanish pattern (used in Uruguay) and cards used in North Africa.   See also: Phelippe AyetBaraja MoriscaSeville 17th CenturySpanish National PatternNavarra 17th CenturyPedro Bosio and ‘Money Bag’ pattern • Portuguese Playing CardsRotxotxo Workshop InventoryJoan BarbotGandarillasNaipes Artiguistas

REFERENCES

Ferro Torrelles, Víctor: “Real Cédula aprobando el establecimiento de la Fábrica de Naipes de Macharaviaya” in La Sota Nº 16, Asescoin, Madrid, March 1997, pp.67-75

Pérez González, Alberto: “A Todos Alumbra”, facsimile of Baraja Carlos IV, Punto Verde, Benalmádena, 2006.   See more

avatar
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.


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

Woodblock and Stencil King of Diamonds

A limited edition art print of the King of Diamonds 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

1996 Postak – Las Postas

Postak – Las Postas

‘Postak - Las Postas’ playing cards commemorating the history of the Basque postal service, Spain, 1...

1984 Tarot de Madrid

Tarot de Madrid

Black-and-white photographs of models whose faces are made up using elements found on the major arca...

2023 Naipes de Personajes Granadinos

Naipes de Personajes Granadinos

Forty famous men and women with links to Granada, on a pack designed by Rubén Garrido.

2010 El Niño de las Pinturas

El Niño de las Pinturas

Forty-nine distinctive works by Spanish graffiti artist Raúl Ruiz.

1790 Pere Pau Rotxotxo Puigdoura

Pere Pau Rotxotxo Puigdoura

Spanish national pattern by Pere Pau Rotxotxo Puigdoura (1766–1797).

75: Early American cards

75: Early American cards

An overview of some of the early cards made in the United States.

2023 Moorish Deck

Moorish Deck

Review of “Trzes’ Moorish Deck” facsimile published by Ulrich Kaltenborn, Berlin, 2023.

1988 El Jueves playing cards

El Jueves playing cards

Caricatures of 52 famous Spaniards for the satirical magazine “El Jueves”.

1980 Naipe Navarro

Naipe Navarro

Historical figures and artefacts from Navarre with designs by M. Sinués for the Navarre Association ...

1981 Bankunión playing cards

Bankunión playing cards

Ingredients and recipes for 24 dishes from different regions of Spain.

1972 Souvenir Playing Cards of Egypt

Souvenir Playing Cards of Egypt

55 different photographic views of Egypt in full colour.

1885 Baraja Mística

Baraja Mística

‘Baraja Mística’ satirical playing-cards featuring revelling clergy published by Litografía Fernánde...

1450 Early German playing cards

Early German playing cards

Some early examples of popular German playing cards from the XV and XVI centuries.

P. Buscaglia: Spanish-suited cards

P. Buscaglia: Spanish-suited cards

Spanish-suited cards published by P. Buscaglia, Mele & Genova.

1880 B.P. Grimaud pack for Bolivia

B.P. Grimaud pack for Bolivia

Spanish-suited pack made in France for sale in Bolivia, c.1880.

1870 José Maria Durán

José Maria Durán

Spanish Catalan pattern by José Maria Durán, Barcelona, c.1870.

1872 Spanish Political pack

Spanish Political pack

Satirical playing cards manufactured by Francar y Cía depicting political situation, Barcelona, 1872...

1860 José Cumplido

José Cumplido

Raimundo García pattern produced by José Cumplido in Madrid, dated 1860 on the four of coins.

1879 Juan Humanes y Cía

Juan Humanes y Cía

Raimundo García pattern published by Juan Humanes y Cía, Madrid, 1879.

1850 Pou y Cía

Pou y Cía

Catalan pattern made by Pou y Cía, Madrid c.1860.

1885 Nueva Baraja Taurina

Nueva Baraja Taurina

'Nueva Baraja Taurina' designed by Pedro Maldonado, Madrid, c.1885.

1790 Amorcillos

Amorcillos

‘Amorcillos’ (Cupids), a masterpiece from the golden age of Spanish playing cards by Clemente Roxas,...

1860 South American Costumes

South American Costumes

Costumes of people of Brazil, Peru and Mexico, with views of Rio de Janeiro on the aces.

1802 Félix Solesio e Hijos

Félix Solesio e Hijos

Félix Solesio e Hijos - Real Fábrica de Madrid - Spanish National pattern for Venezuela

1805 Four Empires - Clemente Roxas

Four Empires - Clemente Roxas

‘Four Empires’ playing cards produced by Clemente Roxas, c.1805.

1815 Llombart Costume Pack

Llombart Costume Pack

Military-style costume pack made by Anton Llombart, Barcelona, 1815.

1821 Juan de Brugada

Juan de Brugada

Spanish National pattern by Juan de Brugada e hijo, Real Fábrica de Madrid, 1821.

1650 The Parisian Tarot

The Parisian Tarot

The “Parisian Tarot”, early 1600s, with imagery and design synthesizing several influences.

1850 Aluette by Dieudonné Jeune, Orléans, c.1850

Aluette by Dieudonné Jeune, Orléans, c.1850

Aluette game by Fabrique Dieudonné Jeune, Orléans, for Spanish market, c.1850.

1986 Baraja Española de Pintores Murcianos

Baraja Española de Pintores Murcianos

A Spanish-suited pack as conceived by 48 different artists from the region of Murcia.

1991 Baraja Napoleónica

Baraja Napoleónica

Re-edition of a French-suited Spanish pack from the Napoleonic era, with designs by J. Carrafa.

1983 Baraxa Galega

Baraxa Galega

Baraxa Galega designed by F. Perez Llamosas and published by Naipes Heraclio Fournier, 1983.

1977 El Desnudo en el Arte

El Desnudo en el Arte

The Nude in Art / El Desnudo en el Arte, Spain, 1977 (reprint 1990)

2018 Baraja del Camino de Santiago

Baraja del Camino de Santiago

Designs by Guitián, published by Ideas Peregrinas, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, c2018.

1992 Naipes Expo ’92

Naipes Expo ’92

Naipes Expo ’92 souvenir playing cards manufactured by Naipes Comas, 1992.

1975 Baraja Fiesta Taurina

Baraja Fiesta Taurina

‘Baraja Fiesta Taurina’ bullfight playing cards published by Heraclio Fournier, Spain, 1975.

1991 Secretos de Oriente

Secretos de Oriente

Secrets of the Far East playing cards featuring the designs of Violeta Monreal , Spain, c. 1991.

Museo del Prado

Museo del Prado

Museo del Prado: Pintores y familias reales / Painters and royal families playing cards.

1983 España Imperial

España Imperial

España imperial / Imperial Spain playing cards with artwork by Serny, published by Heraclio Fournier...

1988 Medieval Life playing cards

Medieval Life playing cards

‘Medium Aevum’ (Medieval Life) playing cards designed by Violeta Monreal, published by Heraclio Four...