The World of Playing Cards Logo

Playing cards have been with us since the 14th century, when they first entered popular culture. Over the centuries packs of cards, in all shapes and sizes, have been used for games, gambling, education, conjuring, advertising, fortune telling, political messages or the portrayal of national or ethnic identity. All over the world, whatever language is spoken, their significance is universal. Their popularity is also due to the imaginative artwork and graphic design which is sometimes overlooked, and the “then & now” of how things have changed.

Naipes “El Gaucho”, c.1955-60

Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60

Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A. (García Morales-Mercant), Dante 1978, Montevideo (Uruguay) c.1955-60

Only the name of the pack, the 2 Jokers and a motif on the four of couns, have Gaucho connotations: the style is a fantasy based on the ‘Parisian’ Spanish pattern. However, in some respects the court cards are closer to Fournier’s Castilian pattern than to Gauchos, especially the Kings. Gráficos Unidos S.A. was succeeded by Cervantes S.A. in the 1970s who continued to produce Naipes “El Gaucho”.

Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1960

Above: detail from the four of coins, and the tax stamp on the seven of coins. See more about taxes

Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60 Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60 Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60

Above: Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60. 48 cards + 2 jokers in box. Gráficos Unidos also produced Naipes “Gamo”, “Fútbol” and Naipes “Cabure”.

avatar

By Simon Wintle

Member since February 01, 1996

View Articles

Curator and editor of the World of Playing Cards since 1996.

Recommended

Parisian style Spanish deck by Grimaud

Parisian style Spanish deck by Grimaud

Parisian style Spanish deck by Grimaud for export to Uruguay.

Naipes ‘Tito’, Camilloni Hnos

Naipes ‘Tito’, Camilloni Hnos

Naipes ‘Tito’, Camilloni Hnos, Montevideo, c.1950.

Naipes ‘Miguelito’

Naipes ‘Miguelito’

The standard Spanish-suited 'Parisian' style (Tipo Frances) is based on models exported to South America by French manufacturers during the nineteenth century.

Naipes Tatú

Naipes Tatú

Naipes Tatú, M.C. de Casabó S.A., Montevideo, c.1956

Naipes “El Gaucho”, c.1955-60

Naipes “El Gaucho”, c.1955-60

Naipes “El Gaucho” Manufactured by Gráficos Unidos S.A., Montevideo, c.1955-60

The ‘Parisian’ Spanish pattern

The ‘Parisian’ Spanish pattern

A version of the old Spanish National pattern which was manufactured by Parisian card makers in the 19th century for export to South America.