The World of Playing Cards Logo
Published May 31, 2022 Updated May 31, 2022

El Al Airlines

Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines. The courts are named after Biblical characters.

1965 Israel De la Rue Lion Playing Cards Piatnik Jean David Aviation Souvenir Add to Collection

The first edition of these cards was produced by De La Rue (printed by Waddingtons) for El Al between 1964 and 1968 (see packing slip and DLR seal on unopened pack) [1]. Later printings were by Piatnik: the cards were printed in sheets in Vienna, then shipped to Israel to be cut and finished, hence El Al was able to claim that the cards were “MADE IN ISRAEL” (see Ace of Spades of the Piatnik printing).

The De La Rue edition, c.1964-68. Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines

Above: pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines produced by De la Rue between 1964-1968.


The Piatnik edition, c.1970. See the Box

El Al Israel National Airlines by Lion Playing Cards, c.1970 El Al Israel National Airlines by Lion Playing Cards, c.1970

Above: deck designed by Jean David for El Al Israel National Airlines produced by Lion Playing Cards Factory, Tel-Aviv, c.1970. 52 cards + 3 Jokers in each deck. Images courtesy Rex Pitts.

Pack designed by Jean David (1908-93) for El Al Airlines

The main differences between the two printings can be summarised as follows:-

  1. Ace of Spades. On the Piatnik printing, the legend “MADE IN ISRAEL” appears, whereas on the DLR printing it does not. On the DLR printing, “EL AL” appears in Hebrew on the blue-backed pack but in English on the brown-backed pack. On the Piatnik printing, both languages appear to have been used with either back colour.
  2. Jack of Spades. On the DLR printing, a strong purple is used for the pattern of the fabric. On the Piatnik printing, this appears as blue.
  3. Joker. The DLR pack contains 2 Jokers, whereas the Piatnik pack contains 3 Jokers.
  4. Back design. No border on the DLR printing; white border on the Piatnik printing.
  5. Sleeve. Stiff cardboard for the DLR printing; flimsier cardboard for the Piatnik printing.

REFERENCES

[1] Berry, John. The Waddington Playing-card Collection: Part 1 The Archive. [W84]. WCMPC, West Molesey, Surrey, 2005.

avatar
497 Articles

By Roddy Somerville

Member since May 31, 2022

Roddy started collecting stamps on his 8th birthday. In 1977 he joined the newly formed playing-card department at Stanley Gibbons in London before setting up his own business in Edinburgh four years later. His collecting interests include playing cards, postcards, stamps (especially playing cards on stamps) and sugar wrappers. He is a Past President of the Scottish Philatelic Society, a former Chairman of the IPCS, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards and Curator of the WCMPC’s collection of playing cards. He lives near Toulouse in France.

1 comments

Gregg Evans's Avatar'

I started collecting after seeing this deck online and purchasing a deck on eBay


Leave a Reply


Related Articles

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Hearts

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Hearts 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Jack of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Jack of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

Woodblock and Stencil Joker

A limited edition art print of the 1984 woodblock joker.

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

Woodblock and Stencil Queen of Clubs

A limited edition art print of the Queen of Clubs 1984 woodblock joker.

Sissi playing cards

Sissi playing cards

produced for the Austrian tourist market.

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Why our playing-cards look the way they do

Analysis of early playing card designs: origins, suit differences, standardization, technological ad...

Seashells playing cards

Seashells playing cards

Each card shows colour photo of a different seashell for easy identification.

Introduction to Collecting Themes

Introduction to Collecting Themes

Playing cards can be broadly categorised into standard and non-standard designs, with collectors app...

2018 Marmite

Marmite

Fifty-Four images celebrating a UK savoury spread, that has been around one hundred and twenty two y...

1877 Word Making and Word Taking

Word Making and Word Taking

How crossword and spelling games became popular.

2021 Film Noir

Film Noir

A deck of 55 cards, celebrating hard boiled heroes, wise-cracking women, mean streets, guns and gums...

2016 Science Fiction

Science Fiction

A deck of 55 cards, celebrating a time when Science Fiction truly was, Science Fiction.

2002 Scenic Views of Australia

Scenic Views of Australia

54 different scenic views of Australia in full colour.

1964 Monuments de Paris

Monuments de Paris

‘Monuments de Paris’ souvenir playing cards produced by Heraclio Fournier, c.1964.

1990 Transair

Transair

Humorous designs promoting Transair, a German charter flight operator.

1972 Feh Schnapskarten

Feh Schnapskarten

Colourful promotional pack for Feh household and toilet papers.

2010 Pin-Ups

Pin-Ups

A deck of 55 cards celebrating a golden age of cheeky, naughty, bold and curvy ladies in film.

2008 Classic Movie Posters

Classic Movie Posters

A deck of 55 cards presenting vintage classic movies and their stars.

2014 That’s Entertainment

That’s Entertainment

A deck of 55 cards celebrating 20th Century vaudeville, musicals and cabaret.

2000 Sweden playing cards

Sweden playing cards

Named characters from Swedish history.

2000 Romania playing cards

Romania playing cards

Romanian voivodes and their wives from the 15th and 16th centuries.

The Search for New Games in the late 19<sup>th</sup> century

The Search for New Games in the late 19th century

A few new games survived and are still around today; most came and went and are only witnessed in th...

2021 Hitchcock

Hitchcock

A deck of 55 cards celebrating the master of mystery, murder and mayhem, Alfred Hitchcock.

1990 Borna Skat

Borna Skat

Publicity pack for the Saxon town of Borna, with designs by Andreas Wachter.

2023 Marlow playing cards

Marlow playing cards

Visitor attractions and businesses to be found in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

1890 Swiss Scenic Tarock

Swiss Scenic Tarock

Scenic Tarock deck produced by Fabrique de Cartes J. Müller & Cie (Schaffhouse), Suisse.

2009 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Pack featuring six images from the Disney film of the same name, on cards made for Eastern Europe.

1996 Papyrus Playing Cards

Papyrus Playing Cards

Papyrus playing cards distributed by Egypt Trade, c.1996.

2009 Winnie the Pooh Rummy

Winnie the Pooh Rummy

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and friends on a pack made for Eastern Europe.

2020 The Pack of Positivity

The Pack of Positivity

Katie Abey’s rainbow-coloured designs using crazy animals to convey motivating phrases.

2003 Historic Early Aviation

Historic Early Aviation

Reproductions of cigarette cards from 1910 on the subject of the early days of aviation.

1983 Les Montgolfières 1783-1983

Les Montgolfières 1783-1983

Honouring the bicentenary of the Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon flights in 1783.

2006 Hot-Air Balloons & Co.

Hot-Air Balloons & Co.

Hot-air balloons and airships from the early days to 1988, with designs by S. Baraldi and F. Tacconi...

2009 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Characters and scenes from the Disney film of the same name, on a pack made for Eastern Europe.

2009 Disney Princess

Disney Princess

Featuring Disney Princesses and Enchanting Tales in two sizes of pack made for Eastern Europe.

2009 Mickey Mouse Rummy

Mickey Mouse Rummy

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Disney characters on a pack made for Eastern Europe.

1905 British Columbia Souvenir

British Columbia Souvenir

British Columbia Souvenir Playing Cards by The Clarke and Stuart Company

1953 American President Lines

American President Lines

American President Lines shipping souvenir playing cards, early to mid-1950s.

1978 Royal Hawaiian playing cards

Royal Hawaiian playing cards

Royal Hawaiian playing cards published by the Royal Hawaiian Playing Card Company, Honolulu.

1964 Official World’s Fair Souvenir, USA, 1964-6

Official World’s Fair Souvenir, USA, 1964-6

Official souvenir pack showing 52 coloured exhibits from the New York World’s Fair, 1964-6.

1869 The Evolution of Bezique boxed sets, 1869 to 1990

The Evolution of Bezique boxed sets, 1869 to 1990

The first company to register Bezique materials with Stationers’ Hall was Josh Reynolds & Son in Sep...

1933 Century of Progress

Century of Progress

‘Century of Progress’ Exposition playing cards produced by Western Playing Card Company, USA, 1933. ...

1994 Schweden Spielkarten

Schweden Spielkarten

54 different souvenir views of famous people and places in Sweden.

1957 Souvenir Playing Cards from Lebanon

Souvenir Playing Cards from Lebanon

Multicoloured Belgian/Genoese pattern cards, probably printed by Fournier for Lebanon.