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Published July 03, 1996 Updated May 02, 2022

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.

France Latin America Uruguay Coulombel Parisian Pattern Spanish Suited
The 'Parisian' Spanish pattern by Coulombel en Paris

So-called because it is a version of the old Spanish National pattern which was manufactured by Parisian card makers in the 19th century for export to South America.

Right: two cards by 'Coulombel en Paris', with a sea horse monster depicted on the Four of Coins.

The ‘Parisian’ Spanish Pattern sometimes has female cavaliers, possibly influenced by French ‘Aluette’ packs. A dog is often seen tethered in the background of the Valet of Coins. The Ace of Batons is grasped by a hand. The Kings wear stockings which are revealed beneath their parted robes. In many examples a sea monster is depicted on the Four of Coins and the Four of Cups often mentions the word ‘Paris’.

The pattern has been used until recently in Uruguay(click on images below to see more).

Naipes Tatú
Montevideo c.1950
Naipes Miguelito
Montevideo, c.1950

Top row: 4 cards from a Colombian pack. Middle row: 4 cards from Naipes Tatú, Montevideo (Uruguay), c.1950. Bottom row: 4 cards from Naipes Miguelito, Montevideo (Uruguay), c.1950

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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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