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Published March 21, 2020 Updated December 21, 2023

Baraja Carlos IV by Félix Solesio, 1800

Baraja Carlos IV, Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800.

1800 Spain Félix Solesio Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya History Add to Collection
detail from pack by Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800

“Baraja Carlos IV” fantasy deck by Félix Solesio, Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800. A rare example of a “de Corte” deck, that is, made for use by the Royal Court (see Fournier ESP 45), specially printed by Felix Solesio in the Royal Factory at Macharaviaya when, by Royal Decree and under monopoly, this establishment normally only made cards for Spanish overseas possessions.

Baraja Carlos IV, Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800

The design, as you see, varies between popular and more sophisticated models, but always within a “courtly” aesthetic, with pleasing details like the monkey, the elephant, and so on. Very likely this would be a courtesy gift from Solesio in return for the facilities and perks he had received from the Royal House.

Baraja Carlos IV, Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800

Above: “Baraja Carlos IV” fantasy deck by Félix Solesio, Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800.


Other known examples

Above: three other copies are known: Cary Collection, SPA 52; Deutsches Spielkarten Museum, 1991-111; and one formerly owned by Sylvia Mann. In turn, there are two different models, with slight, but perceptible, design variations. The Cary example (reverse white) and the DSM deck (reverse floral, lacks two cards) have “pintas” (border breaks); dated 1782 on the ace of coins and 1800 on the two of coins. The Mann copy (reverse same as DSM) and AGP (reverse lines and dots) do not have “pintas”. Dates include 1800 on the ace and two of coins of Mann copy, and 1800 on the ace of coins and 1801 on the two of coins of AGP copy.

REFERENCES and CREDITS

Thanks to Alberto Pérez González for images and research. In 2006 Alberto Pérez published a limited reproduction of this deck, based on the DSM copy, for Maria Bellezza Bussi, descendant of Solesio.

Cary Collection (SPA 52).

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By Alberto Pérez González

Member since December 21, 2016

I am a researcher and my primary interest lies in playing cards manufactured in Cádiz (not the 'Cádiz' type in general). I have authored several articles in the annual Asescoin magazine 'La Sota'. Among them are: “Madrid’s Playing Cards from the 17th to the 20th Century”; “New Contributions to the Study of Playing Cards in the Valencian Country”; “The Fouquets: 'Navarra pattern' in the Netherlands”; “Divided Playing Cards: Combining Ingenuity with Skill”; “Here Be Dragons: Speculations on the Evolution of the so-called 'Portuguese' Pattern”; “Playing Cards in Chile: News and Chronicles from the Viceroyalty Era”...

I have written and designed the book “Los Naipes de Cádiz” (296 pp). Additionally, I have contributed to the design, layout, and collaboration in Enrique García Martín’s book “Naipes, Arte y Fantasía” (444 pp).


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