The Spanish National Pattern
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.
See also: Navarra 17th Century • Seville 17th Century • Rotxotxo Workshop Inventories, Barcelona • Agostino Bergallo • Benoist Laius • Pedro Bosio and Money Bag pattern • Joan Barbot • Gandarillas • Naipes Artiguistas • Macharaviaya
Félix Solesio - Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1787
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.
Another pack of Dutch costume playing cards c.1880.
Luxurious Spanish-suited pack made by Alphonse Arnoult, Paris, France, c.1850.
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.
Wüst Spanish pattern c.1910 advertising Cuban ‘Tropical’ beer.
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.
Gambling and Vice in the Hours of Charles V: card-playing in the local tavern
A facsimile of an early 19th century French-suited deck from the collection of F.X. Schmid.
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.
Corner Indices were a major innovation in playing card production.
Baraja Carlos IV, Félix Solesio en la Real Fábrica de Macharaviaya, 1800.
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.
A great many regional patterns were exported from France and subsequently copied elsewhere. Some of them became local standards in their own right.
Continuing our look at the figures from the regional patterns of France.
On page 11 I illustrated several examples of the regional French patterns from Sylvia Mann's collection; this is a more in-depth look at the figures of these patterns ("portraits" in French).
Facsimile of Tarot de Marseille by Iohann Christoph Hes, Augsburg, c.1750.
Notgeld - Emergency Money - was in rare cases issued on playing cards.
There are some interesting packs from Goodall in the last quarter of the 19th century.
Modern English court style by Games & Print Services Limited, c.1997.
1st edition of famous Bicycle Playing Cards printed by Russell & Morgan Printing Co., Cincinnati, 1885.
Dal Negro Bridge set featuring old Vienna pattern courts.
“Carte Romane” designed by Giorgio Pessione, 1973, celebrating the history of Rome.
Sarde pattern published by Modiano, c.1975, based on early XIX century Spanish model.
The Triestine pattern is derived from the Venetian (Trevisane) pattern but with its own characteristics.
Primiera Bolognese by Modiano, c.1975
Bergamasche Pattern by Modiano, 1970s.