Hindenburg beer up for auction

A slightly scorched bottle of beer salvaged intact from the wreck of the Hindenburg zeppelin is to be auctioned in the UK this week for £6,000.

Hindenburg-disasterThe bottle, thought to be from the Löwenbräu brewery, is to go on sale alongside other Hindenburg items at Wallis and Wallis auctioneers in Lewes, East Sussex on Wednesday.

It is claimed that the beer was one of a pack of six discovered by a fireman. Leroy Smith, at the scene of the stricken craft which he buried and later recovered.

He kept one for himself and shared the other five with friends. One of the bottles subsequently found its way in to the possession of David Kirch from the UK, a collector of Hindenburg and other airship memorabilia, in 2009 when he bought the bottle from Wiltshire auctioneers Henry Aldridge and sons.

The Wallis auction catalogue describes it as: “Fire damaged Lowenbrau larger rescued from the remains of the Hindenburg. A standard size green bottle 23cm fitted with a crown top. The bottle is unopened but the label is scorched and damaged from the fire and the top foil is long gone.”

hindenberg-beer

The beer as presented in the Aldridge catalogue

The bottle will be sold alongside a “piece of material”, also from the Hindenburg, a strip of the German flag and a letter home from the secretary to the German Consulate in New York at the time, Karl Loerky.

Loerky’s letter was written to his father some time after the crash and describes the scene of the tragedy as well as his time among the survivors of the crash at Lakehurst.

Also included in the letter are two photographs, one of Loerky in front of the wreckage and another with a pack of 12 Löwenbräu which shows that many bottles did survive the crash.

The widow of one fireman gave a bottle back to Smith in the 1970s and he donated it to the Löwenbräu brewery where it remains to this day.

Nearly 600 items in his collection including the Hindenburg’s passenger list and letters from the first lady to fly around the world in an airship, Lady Grace Drummond-Hay, are also to be sold.

It is the fifth part of his collection to be sold, the previous auction having raised £211,000 and the collection as a whole is expected to raise £1 million.

The Hindenburg disaster happened on 6 May 1937 when the enormous airship tried to dock at Lakehurst in New Jersey.

While docking the Hindenburg suddenly erupted in flames – for reasons still debated to this day.

Thirty-five of the 36 passengers and 61 crew became casualties, as did a member of the ground staff.

Moreover, the incident grew larger in the public eye because of the photographs (see above) and newsreel footage taken and also the eyewitness radio coverage given by Herbert Morrison who kept reporting throughout and coined the famous line, “oh the humanity” as the zeppelin collapsed into inferno.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Administrator

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx, IU

Sales Support Executive

Davy's
London, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - Greater London

Maverick Drinks
London/M25 belt, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - North West

Maverick Drinks
Manchester, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - West & Wales

Maverick Drinks
Bristol, UK

Partner Manager – On-trade - South East

Maverick Drinks
Brighton, UK

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sale & Operations Manager

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more