Graf Zeppelin LZ127 airship porcelain tableware teacup and saucer set; rare 1928 gold-trimmed in-flight service “Ivory Porcelain” china made by Heinrich Co. in Bavaria, Germany.
This is one of the few surviving specimens of an extremely rare “in-flight service” porcelain tableware that was used on board of the legendary German rigid airship Graf Zeppelin in the 1920th. More about airship Graf Zeppelin is provides on this dedicated Wikipedia page; this airship was the last flying giant in its class and probably the most famous blimp of all times. German designation for this famous airship was LZ127; she became the most recognized airship in the world after she completed the first intercontinental flight in 1928 and the first around-the-world airship flight in 1929. Graf Zeppelin and its sister ship LZ129 Hindenburg had implemented innovative designs and were designated for carrying a large number of passengers and cargo over long distances. The passengers aboard Graf Zeppelin airship traveled in unparalleled luxury and comfort, enjoying their meals in the full-size dining room with dishes served on fine “ivory” china trimmed with 24K gold – see the actual photo of the ship’s interior dining area attached, courtesy of Wikipedia.
One of the largest airships of the time, Graf Zeppelin had a crew of 36 (!!) men. Here are a few basic facts about LZ127: ship’s length – 776 feet/236.53 meters; ship’s diameter: 100 feet/30.48 meters; gas volume (Hydrogen): 3,700,000 cu. feet/111,000 cu. meters; propulsion: five 550 hp Maybach engines; maximum speed: 80 mph / 128 km/hr. The most successful commercial airship ever built, Graf Zeppelin flew more than a 1,000,000 miles on 590 flights, carrying well over 34,000 passengers without a single injury. Sadly, the Nazis cut up Graf Zeppelin along with the rest of the German rigid airships in 1940 – quality aluminum was needed for the Luftwaffe’s war machines…
This gold-trimmed “ivory” porcelain teacup and the medium-size saucer tea set is a shining example of such long-gone airship travel experience. The saucer and teacup are decorated two wide ornamental gold trims and two narrow gold bands with one cobalt-blue band in the center. The cup has the classic LZ logo on a side – “LZ” stands for Luftschiftbau Zeppelin – the German Zeppelin Airline Company that built and ran these airships. The fine porcelain tableware for the German Zeppelin Airline Company was made by Heinrich & Co. in Bavaria, Germany. The saucer is marked with green H&Co. logo on the back and HEINRICH-ELFENBEIN-PORZELLAN / >>GRAF ZEPPELIN<< / 1928 in red letters. Master maker’s mark S is visible under the glazing. The saucer is about 6-1/4″ / 16 cm in diameter; it is in excellent overall condition with no damage – no chips, cracks, or flacking to the gold trims’ plating. The tea cup has an unfortunate 1/3 split that was later glued back; could be a nice restoration project for a professional porcelain restorator. The cup is about 2-1/4″ / 5.5 cm high; the top is about 4-1/4″ / 10.8 cm in diameter. The bottom is marked H&Co Selb Bavaria / Heinrich & Co. / SENTA in green letters and HEINRICH-ELFENBEIN-PORZELLAN / >>GRAF ZEPPELIN<< 1928 in red letters.
This original Graf Zeppelin LZ127 airship porcelain tableware tea cup-and-saucer set manufactured by Heinrich Co. in Bavaria is in 100% original “as is” condition – not cleaned or tampered with (aside from the original repair job); these are the actual photos. Don’t forget to check out our Vintage Collectables section for other aviation-related listings, including several other Graf Zeppelin items.
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