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Published July 03, 1996 Updated July 11, 2023

Spanish National Pattern

Probably originating in Spain in the seventeenth century or even earlier, this pattern became strongly established by the Catalan cardmakers Rotxotxo of Barcelona.

Catalonia Spain Félix Solesio Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya Rotxotxo History Archaic Patterns Spanish National Pattern Add to Collection

Pere Rotxotxo, Barcelona, c.1650

Probably originating in Spain in the seventeenth century or even earlier, this pattern became strongly established by the Catalan cardmakers Rotxotxo of Barcelona. It was also manufactured in France and Italy. Although no longer used in Spain, during the 17th and 18th centuries it was extensively exported to Latin American colonies, and it provides the basis for many of the designs which are used today in Spain as well as South America. The Real Fábrica de Naipes de Macharaviaya (1776-1815) was manufacturing cards for export to South America based on these designs (see below). Several derivatives of this deisgn have survived in various parts of the world, such as French ‘Aluette’ cards, French ‘Cartes Catalanes’, ‘Parisian’ Spanish pattern (used in Uruguay) and cards used in North Africa.

Pere Rotxotxo, Barcelona, c.1650

Above: six Gothic playing cards by P. Rotxotxo which evidently have been used for a secondary purpose - possibly sewn in as stiffening inside a garment.

Baraja Española Gótica siglo XVII facsimile

Above: Baraja Española Gótica siglo XVII facsimile of deck manufactured by Pere Rotxotxo, reproduced by Naipes Heráclio Fournier, S.A., 1983. 40 cards in presentation case.

See also:  Navarra 17th CenturySeville 17th CenturyRotxotxo Workshop Inventories, BarcelonaAgostino BergalloBenoist LaiusPedro Bosio and ‘Money Bag’ pattern • Joan BarbotGandarillasNaipes ArtiguistasMacharaviaya


Félix Solesio - Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1787

Félix Solesio - Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1787

Official signatures on certain cards, in this example the Three of Coins, were proof that taxes had been paid to the treasury.

Click here to see another example, dated 1786

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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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