1937 ‘Hindenburg’ crash cover in March 11-13 Kelleher Flagship auction

Feb 29, 2024, 9 AM
This charred cover from the May 6, 1937, crash of the German airship Hindenburg will be up for bids during Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions’ March 11-13 Flagship sale. The cover was subsequently returned to Germany in a protective cellophane envelope.

By Charles Snee

Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions will present its Flagship sale of United States, British and worldwide stamps and postal history March 11-13 at its gallery in Danbury, Conn. Each day of this Flagship auction will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

The auction includes more than 1,500 lots and features U.S. material from the collections of David E. Bays, Gary A. Kosvic, Lady Connoisseur and William Rider; further selections from the Jans-Jurgen Hess collection of zeppelin flights; part 2 of the Luxus collection of U.S. plate blocks; and singles and sets from the stock of A & D Stamps and Coins.

Collectors of zeppelin postal history will be pleased to see a cover from the May 6, 1937, crash of the German airship Hindenburg in Lakehurst, N.J.

As shown here, the charred remains of the cover were subsequently returned to Germany in a “cellophane ‘ambulance’ envelope,” according to Kelleher. The cellophane envelope was sealed with a U.S. post office seal (Scott OX21) at upper right.

The cover was one of only 384 pieces of mail from the ill-fated flight that could be identified out of the 17,500 that were aboard, Kelleher said.

Kelleher notes that the crash cover is discussed and illustrated in LZ-129 Hindenburg Zeppelin Crash Mail by Dieter Leder. Accompanying the cover is an expertizing certificate from Alexander Berezowski dated Oct. 14, 1937.

The cover is listed in the Sieger Zeppelin Post Katalog as No. 454Ba.

Kelleher is offering this remarkable piece of postal history from the 1937 Hindenburg crash with an estimate of $7,500 to $10,000. The cover is listed on the Kelleher website with an opening bid of $3,750.

Kelleher has prepared a single catalog for the three-day Flagship auction that is available for viewing and download on the firm’s website, with online bidding options available on Stamp Auction Network.

For additional information, contact Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, 22 Shelter Rock Lane, Unit 53, Danbury, CT 06810.

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