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Published July 03, 1996 Updated June 24, 2023

Proverbs and Maxims

Naipe Infantil Gauchito children’s miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims on the reverse,

Uruguay Gauchito Miniature Proverbs Card Games Add to Collection

Children’s miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims, Montevideo, c.1928

"Naipe Infantil Gauchito" children’s miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims on the reverse, 40 cards. Similar packs were published showing football players and popular heroes and celebrities. Cards of this type are examples of playing cards used for educational purposes besides providing entertainment value to young people. In order to complete the set, the children no doubt had to trade with their friends and organise their collections. The virtuous maxims would have been reinforced at school during copper-plate handwriting lessons.

Children's miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims, anonymous manufacturer, Montevideo, c.1928 Children's miniature playing cards with Proverbs and Maxims, anonymous manufacturer, Montevideo, c.1928 box from 'Gauchito' children's miniature playing cards, Montevideo, c.1928

Right: box from a later edition with more modern court card design →

Educational or Instructional playing cards have been around since the 16th century. See also: Logica Memorativa by Thomas Murner, 1507Robert Morden's Map Cards, 1676Arms of English Peers, 1686Proverbial Cards, 1698Mechanical Instruments, c.1700Geistliche Karten, 1718Cartes Questions-Devinettes, c.1840Happy FamiliesJaques' Illustrated Proverbs, c.1885Spanish Instructional Cards, 1888Japanese Uta GarutaChildren's Maxim Cards from UruguayIndian Alphabetical Cards, c.1940Wild Flower Sevens card game, 1960Snip Snap, 1968Learn Thai Playing Cards, 2009

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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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