Psst – have a spare 8 grand for a slightly damaged postal cover?

Psst – have a spare 8 grand for a slightly damaged postal cover?

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

A badly burned salvaged cover from the Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster

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 (link no longer available. Looking for another one)
Zeppelin Post Journal is the one of the best magazines on the market for Zeppelin related information – http://www.ezep.de/zpj/zpj.html

What’s up – this month’s Vance auction

What’s up – this month’s Vance auction

Time to ogle the latest Vance Auction catalogue for Wednesday, March 21, 2018!. A cursory look popped up dozens of gems. One of my favourite categories is First Flight covers (FFC) ad as expected, there are a number of lots offering Canadian FFC from the 1920s to late 30s. Many are reasonably priced for airmail fans on budgets. One lot, in particular, that caught my eye is a shoe box full of covers and postcards, including “multi-franked airmail, mainly from Vatican City & USA but has many other countries incl Malta, Br. Africa, Peru, etc”. Est price is only $100 and would be a fun sorter box. (lot 971).  Most of the covers are too recent for my tastes, but if you collect post-1980s covers, this may be the pick of the lot. Here’s one that I have my eyes on: Photo of Danish airmail from 1936 - image courtesy Vance auctionBeautiful Denmark cover “Horsens to Copenhagen / North Europe Philatelic Exhibition 7 Sept 1936”. This one hits all the marks – cancels are crisp, colours, vivid, clean stamps. Overall a fun cover estimated price $75. (lot 2029). I realised today I don’t have any Danish airmail! So, this is on my list to watch. But this one sets my heart beating: Photo of a French airmail card from 1922 from Vance auction No one does airmail like the French. The early stamps and postcards were works of art in themselves. This 1922 exhibition card is perfect example and expected to fetch $125.  (lot 2129) I’m still sifting through the Canadian semi-officials and airmails, so I’ll post my favourites later.

You can follow auction results and upcoming sales at Vance Auction website.