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Escalada y Vidiella, Montevideo c.1860

Cards from a 40-card pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm "Escalada y Vidiella" based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860.

Escalada y Vidiella, Montevideo c.1860

A 40-card Spanish-suited pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm Escalada y Vidiella based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860. Sr Vidiella was the founder of the Uruguayan grape growing industry and in 1854 he founded an import-export business in Montevideo. The ace of coins features a Uruguayan coat of arms and the five of coins shows the Argentinean arms, suggesting that the pack was intended for use in both countries. The court cards include representations of Indian people, a Chinese man, an Arab gentleman, possibly the Goddess Diana and various other European persons. Altogether the pack appears to reflect a 19th century fantasy of South American colonisation in the style of other "Four Continent" packs of the era.

40-card pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm Escalada y Vidiella based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860

Above: cards from a 40-card pack made in Belgium by Antoine van Genechten exclusively for the firm Escalada y Vidiella based in Montevideo (Uruguay) in c.1860. The cards once belonged to the Argentinean Infantry Captain Carmen Bustamente who was killed in the Paraguayan War (1864-1870). They are now part of the collection of the Complejo Museográfico Enrique Udaondo (Luján). Background information kindly provided by Juan Carlos Recarey.

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By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

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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.


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