March 2023


This month there were no new decks in the mailbox. There are still a few decks on my wish list, but they are extremely hard to find when you're not looking. I did browse a few stands in one of Cairo's markets during my visit to Egypt in the first 2 weeks of this month, but nothing else than the tourist decks there. And they did look a lot like the ones we had seen there in 1988. So back to the Madrid convention and one of the Spanish suited decks that I brought home then. A so-called chocolate cards deck again. Made as insert cards with chocolate products by certain brands or shops and mostly aimed at children. So gathered one by one to complete a full deck.
These cards often show small differences in size. Same in this deck here.

In this deck there's no name of a printer mentioned on any of the cards, but the signature of the artist is on each card. The Spanish collector who had sold me the deck wrote his interpretation of it on a piece of paper for me: Bofaruu. However, when researching the given name I found a different name for this artist: Jacint Bofarull (1903 - 1977). He studied in Barcelona at the Llotja school and later took drawing lessons at the Cercle artistic de Sant Lluc. His style is very recognizable. He was a humorous cartoonist, did murals as well as illustrations and also had a few exhibitions of his paintings. But since 1924 he created cartoons for sport magazines like El Borinot, La Barrila Deportiva and Xut. He was an active labour union man and one of the founders of the Union of Professional Cartoonists in 1936. He was also known for his posters during the Spanish Civil War. By the end of that war in 1939 he went to France , where he worked in Perpignan for L'Indépendant until he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1950. There he worked for the Mundo Infantil magazine and in the cartoon movies industry. In 1955 he moved to Venezuela and in 1961 he returned to Spain. He died in 1977 in the same city where he was born, Barcelona.

Under the signature there is "XXXII" on each card. So the designs (and probably the deck too) date from 1932. This deck was published for Chocolates Orús from Zaragoza, although a deck, advertising San Fernando chocolates, is often mentioned too. The usual Spanish suits have been replaced by Spanish sweets that can be dipped in a cup of melted chocolate: churros as swords, ensaimadas (sweet, fluffy rolls) as coins and melindros (a sort of sponge cakes) as clubs. Of course a cup of melted chocolate represents the...... cups.
In the Spanish patterned decks the 11 always has a rider on horse back on it, in a rather static pose. Now look at what Borafull created. 

But..... ENJOY the rest of the cards too!




Click the ace of cups to see all the pip cards of each suit.........




Cups of melted chocolate




The deck consists of 48 cards. The backs not only advertise "best of the world" Orús chocolates, but on each card there is a different cartoon too. The cartoons are numbered from 1 - 48.