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Suit System:S
Recommended Name:  the Maciá pattern.

This pattern was originally classified as S-3.


Although this is a well-defined pattern of which a variety of examples may be found, its full history is not clear. Several examples have links with the Spanish cardmaking family of Maciá. So although it is not certain that they were its originators it seems reasonable to use the name as a means of identifying it. It has been made in both Spain and Italy.

The earliest known dated pack (1816) is by Rotxotxo of Barcelona, illustrated in Gurney Benham's book, PLAYING CARDS. One in the Museo de Naipes in Vitoria by Juan José Maciá is dated 1830. Among Italian examples there are named packs dated 1850 as well as anonymous and undated ones.


40 or 48 cards of usual Spanish composition (see S-1.1).

Distinctive features

The kings have the whole length of their stockinged legs on view. Kings of swords and cups wear laurel wreaths, not crowns; all four have shoulder-capes over long robes. Cups are often decorative and urn-like, with lids. The horse of the cavalier of cups is not rearing and faces right, while that of swords faces left, but the direction of these and other cards is sometimes reversed. Ace of coins: central coin framed in drapes surmounted by crown (though not in Rotxotxo's version).

Some known makers

Rotxotxo, Barcelona, 1816.

Juan José Maciá, Barcelona, c.1830.

"Fabbrica de Fogli a Contorno", Naples, 1850.

Girbau y Audinis, Igualada (near Barcelona), c.1850.

Maciá Pattern

Illustration 1 of Maciá pattern  (jpg 1436 x 738)
Illustration 2 of Maciá pattern  (jpg 1425 x 733)
Illustration 3 of Maciá pattern  (jpg 1425 x 733)
Illustration 4 of Maciá pattern  (jpg 1427 x 725)
Upper two rows by Juan José Maciá, Barcelona, c.1830;
lower two rows by Girbau y Audinis, Igualada, c.1850.

The International Playing-Card Society May, 1979

For comments please contact the Pattern Sheet Editor: Kay Stolzenburg (

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Last updated 9th September 2010