Here’s something you don’t see every day:

Photo of a badly burned salvaged cover from the Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster - cover courtesy Vance Auctions
Have you figured out what it is? Here’s a hint: Think Zeppelin mail.  This chance to own a piece of history is coming up at the next Vance sale Aug 22, 2018. (Auction item 687)

C54, Tied on part of a charred cover from the 6 May, 1937 HINDENBURG ZEPPELIN DISASTER. Addr to C. Ford in San Francisco with centrally struck red Zeppelin flight cachet. Wrapped in the original cellophane by the Post Office and with P.O. Department Officially Sealed label on reverse. Has 1993 Germany Philatelic Society Certificate and 1993 Dr J. Simon Certificate. A VERY RARE EXAMPLE OF A HINDENBURG CRASH COVER FROM THE MOST FAMOUS AIR DISASTER IN HISTORY

The cover, from one of the most famous air disasters in history, was one of only 372 salvaged from the 17,000 letters the Hindenburg carried on it’s last flight, Out of those 372, 176 suffered no damaged because they were being held in protective pouches. The rest (this one included) were pieced together afterwards by diligent US postal officials, sealed and  sent on to their destination.  This one has an authentication certificate, which is mandatory given the high number of forgeries about.  It’s unusual to see one come for auction and it’ll be interesting to see what the final price is.

If you look closely, you can just make out an address and post mark. The original US post Officially Sealed stamp is in place along with the salvage wrapping. It originally carried the C54 Swastika, Sun, Globe and Eagle German airmail stamp – 100pf, like the one below, but I couldn’t spot it. I think it’ll take a careful examination to see the remnants.

Scan of 1934 German airmail stamp

Note: the number of covers that survived varies between 358 to 372.  Zeppelin authority Dieter Leder from the Zeppelin Study Group pegs the number at 372, which is the one I use in the article.

Bibliography:
Hindenburg Crash Mail – https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/found-letters-from-the-hindenburg-61380742/ 
Burned mail from Hindenburg crash to be auctioned
Zeppelin Post Journal is the one of the best magazines on the market for Zeppelin related information – http://www.ezep.de/zpj/zpj.html

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