Playing cards had been produced for the Pamplona General Hospital Monopoly in the former kingdom of Navarra since 1631. As the monopoly contract was repeatedly renewed over time, and in order that cards could be differentiated from those of neighbouring kingdoms or tax jurisdictions, the designs became established as a regional pattern.
It is likely that wooblocks, and even completed packs of cards, were originally produced in France, before being produced in Spain, which explains why the designs contain features common to earlier, archaic French-made cards. Problems with the quality, as well as illegal imports, were often cause for disputes with cardmakers at the time of renewal of their contracts.
PEDRO VARANGOT, 1786
It is recorded that Pedro Varangot was married to Jeanne Darretche in Bayonne in 1743. Earlier packs attributed to him were made in Bayonne. see more →
Unknown Cardmaker with initials I. I., 1793
Member since February 01, 1996View Articles
Curator 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.
High-quality standard designs by Sebastián Comas y Ricart, Barcelona, Spain, 1896.
Issued to mark the opening of line 3 of the metro in Valencia, 1998.
An extraordinary Spanish pack of chocolate advertising playing cards dating from 1920
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Dutch costume playing cards made for the Dutch market in the second half of the 19th century.
“Royal Cards Reign of Queen Anne” cover historical events, both honourable and treacherous, during the period 1702 to 1704.
In standard English packs the Ace of Spades is associated with decorative designs. This is a historical survey of why this should be.
Dubois card makers from Liège in the Walloon Region of Belgium.
PLAYING CARDS: A Secret History
This deck was inherited from ancestors, it has has a family history surrounding it. Details of the lives of previous owners make it all so fascinating.
Video by Art of Impossible. In this video you will get a short overview of the most important historical facts about playing cards and their history.
Archaic Spanish-suited deck with 48 cards made in Toledo in 1584.
Bull fighting card game publshed by Naipes Comas, 1969.
Puss in Boots card game manufactured by H. Fournier, 1981.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
Fifth Centenary of the Discovery of America by Heraclio Fournier, 1992.
Donald Duck card game © Walt Disney Productions, by Naipes Fournier, 1984.
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
Caperucita Roja card game published by H. Fournier, 1981.
Pulgarcito (Tom Thumb) card game published by H Fournier, 1981.
The Adventures of Inspector Gadget quartet game published by Fournier in 1983.
Periquito y Tontín Dominoes, featuring Feliz and Bonzo, 1920s.
“Familias de 7 Paises” card game published by Naipes H. Fournier S.A, Vitoria, 1979.
“Parejas del Mundo” matching pairs card game by Naipes H. Fournier, 1972.
The Adventures of Sport-Billy by H. Fournier, 1981.
Chinese Costumes from the Winterthur Collection, published by Fournier, 1984.
Kaffeehaus-Pikett featuring the old Viennese Large Crown pattern, made by ASS.
Reproduction of Richard Blome’s Heraldic playing cards, 1684, presented to lady guests at WCMPC Summer Meeting in 1888.
Facsimile of “Le Jeu de la Guerre” designed by Gilles de la Boissière in 1698.
Educación Vial (Road Safety) card game published by H. Fournier, 1995.
Corner Indices were a major innovation in playing card production.
Baraja Carlos IV, Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800.
101 Dalmatas by Naipes Fournier, 1995,
A presentation of the main characteristics of the wood-block courts of the heart suit.
This is a presentation in a more straightforward fashion of the work done by Paul Bostock and me in our book of the same name.
Some further material relating to cards from nineteenth and twentieth century periodicals.
Facsimile of patriotic 1878 Tyrolean playing cards published by Piatnik in 1992.
Here are a few early advertisements relating to cards from newspapers 1684-1759 and a number of later 19th century documents of interest.
Hand-made playing cards by French prisoners of war in Porchester Castle, Hampshire, c.1796.
A continuation of the development of the off-spring of the Paris patterns and a few examples of how the French regional figures have inspired modern designers.