Graf Zeppelin Covers

Graf Zeppelin carried a great deal of mail, including first flight covers and other philatelic covers desired by stamp collectors (who provided much of the financing for the German zeppelins), as well as commercial mail sent by zeppelin because it was the fastest way to send correspondence overseas at the time.

Note: The “Sieger numbers” mentioned below refer to the Zeppelin Post Katalog published by the Sieger-Verlag of Lorch/Wurttemberg.  The Sieger catalog is invaluable not just as a philatelic reference to zeppelin mail, but also as a historic resource, since the catalog contains a comprehensive list of all flights by German commercial zeppelins from LZ-1 through LZ-130.

First flight of Graf Zeppelin from Germany to United States, October 11-15, 1928. (Sieger 21B)

First flight of Graf Zeppelin from Germany to United States, October 11-15, 1928. (Sieger 21B)

First flight of Graf Zeppelin from United States to Germany, October 29 - November 1, 1928. (Sieger 22B)

First flight of Graf Zeppelin from United States to Germany, October 29 – November 1, 1928. (Sieger 22B)

Final leg of Around-the-World flight, Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen, September 1-4, 1929. (Sieger 32)

Final leg of Around-the-World flight, Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen, September 1-4, 1929. (Sieger 32)

First leg of

First leg of Around-the-World flight, Friedrichshafen to Lakehurst, August 7-10, 1929. (Sieger 28A)

Friedrichshafen to Seville, May, 1930. (Sieger 57A)

Friedrichshafen to Seville, May, 1930. (Sieger 57A)

Century of Progress Flight, Akron-Chicago, October 25-26, 1933. (Sieger 243A)

Century of Progress Flight, Akron-Chicago, October 25-26, 1933. (Sieger 243A)

South America to Friedrichshafen, April 23-27, 1932. (Sieger 156)

South America to Friedrichshafen, April 23-27, 1932. (Sieger 156)

Commercial mail, Argentina to Germany, June 23-July 6, 1934. (Sieger 256)

Commercial mail, Argentina to Germany, June 23-July 6, 1934. (Sieger 256)

Flown to the Leipzig Fair, August 30, 1936. (Sieger 366)

Flown to the Leipzig Fair, August 30, 1936. (Sieger 366)

I welcome comments and emails, but please note that for various reasons I don’t like to offer an opinion on the value or authenticity of zeppelin covers or other items of airship memorabilia.

17 Comments on "Graf Zeppelin Covers"

  1. Latest Michel. And sieger. ????

  2. May I ask 2 Qs regarding zeppelin flight cover to Hong Kong in 1929

    1) Postal fee from Germany to Hong Kong (my cover stamped 3 mark + 50PF x 2)
    2) How many flight cover(s) to Hong Kong is/are recorded?

    thank you!

  3. May I ask two questions regarding zeppelin flight covers?
    1. Is the Sieger catalog also printed in English?
    2. A Hindenburg flight cover has a Frankfurt to USA back to Germany cancels. The Frost catalog lists a Germany to USA and USA to Germany flights, but does not mention a round trip flight cover (Germany back to Germany after the North American flight). The Frankfurt cancel is September 26, 1936, the New York backstamp is September 29, and the return flight (back in Germany) is October 29, 1936.

  4. Greetings,
    are you able to advise when Sieger Caalogues were issued – I think I saw the 1981
    volume in our library? Are you aware of any more recent issues of this catalogue,
    so that one can get more relevant values to guide pricing covers for sale??
    Thanks for any assistance John

  5. Hi Dan, just as a note, my cover has a similar stamp to the Sieger 22b envelope you have shown. A long envelope with three stamps a Brooklyn post stamp reads, Brooklyn Oct 27 12pm. and hand written is Per German Airship L Z 127 from Lakehurst New Jersey. It is being sent to Dresden in Germany. This letter was part of my grand mothers stamp collection and, like the others on your page, has a romantic and poignant air about it.

    Si Todd

  6. Dan—-I am wondering about the Condor labels that are on covers from the Pan American Flight of May-June 1930. Was mail from Rio picked up by Condor airlines and set to Recife for further dispatch? Was any mail picked up during LZ127’s short stay in Rio and transported back to Recife?
    Thanks,
    John

  7. I just purchased Graf Zeppelin Flight #242C which was dispatched from Miami to Sevilla, Spain via the “Century of Progress” in 1933 and then, apparently, sent back to Howard Beach, NY by boat after arriving in Sevilla. Is this one of the rarely seen Miami dispatches to Sevilla? Thanks!

  8. I just found this postal history page today. It is great to know that postal history and postcard collecting is alive and well online.

  9. Dan,
    Please review-
    Re: Brown Envelope with 3 stamps. At the right side of the envelope are 2 brown stamps @ 4 reichmarcks each and one blue stamp valued at 2 reichmarcks postmarked twiced 15 -Aug-29, 1-2V, Friedrichshafen, Luftpost. An additional ” Mit Luftpost PAR AVION ” blue stamp is affixed to the top center of the envelope. On the left side of the letter is a red circle stamp which states in 360 degrees , ” LUFTSCHIFF GRAF ZEPPLELIN WELTRUNDFAHRT 1929″ in addition the bottom right states in red ink” Friedrichshafen [Borensee]- Lakehurst”.
    The reverse side of the letter is maked with 2 green postmarks one in a circle which posts the time 9:30AM LAKE HURST NJ Aug29 1929, and the other in the spape of the zeppelin and is marked “Graf Zeppelin Round the World Flight”.

    Your expertise is appreciated. Thank you for allowing me the the time to request iinformation from you on this find. I am not a stamp collector so your comments will be most respected.

    Again thank you,
    Sam Palmiotto NY

  10. My grandfather has a first flight stamped letter from 1927 (i think that is the right year) Graf Zeppelin that flew from Fredrichhaven to St. Hubert (Quebec) Canada.
    He lived near St. Hubert and picked the letter up in person when it landed. Any idea of approx value ? I don’t think he wants to sell it – he is 94 years old and it has great sentimental value to him.

    • For various reasons, I don’t like to comment on the value or authenticity of items (and I don’t have sufficient information about this item — date, stamp, cancellation, condition, etc — to give an opinion in any event). I am sorry I cannot be more helpful, but thank you for visiting the site. 🙂

    • i would love to chat with the 94 year old grandfather. can anyone help? i have been researching airships for 20 years. please assist if you can. we can exchange some good memories. thanks.

      david helms
      704-753 3612

  11. This mail is also listed as Z 181 ON PAGE 292 OF THE AMERICAN AIRMAIL SOC. CATALOGUE VOL ONE fifth Edition. published 1974 when the value given was 4.50 dollars. To give a comparison this compares with 25 dollars for the highest valued cover flown on the South American route in 1932. Hope this also helps.

  12. I don’t usually like to discuss the value of items, for various reasons, but if you would like to email me a scan, I might be able to give you some information about the cover and the flight on which it was carried. (And if you give me your permission, I will post a copy of your item here for others to look at, as well.)

    As for judging authenticity, that’s hard to do without holding an item in my hands, but as a general matter, very few zeppelin covers are sufficiently valuable to be worth the effort of counterfeiting, since the vast majority of them are worth less than US$500 (and the more common first flight covers are worth a lot less.) There have been famous counterfeits of Hindenburg crash mail, but that is due to the very high value of an original crash cover.

    • Thank you for sending the scan.
      Sieger #144
      Your item was carried on the 238th flight of the Graf Zeppelin, which left Recife, Pernambuco on April 9, 1932 and arrived at Friedrichsafen, Germany four days later. The cover is Sieger Catalog #144.

      While I don’t like to give opinions about value, this does not seem to be an especially valuable zeppelin cover, party because zeppelin mail with Brazilian stamps is relatively common. And while I can’t really give an opinion about authenticity without holding it in my hand, I would be surprised if anyone went to the trouble of counterfeiting this item.

      I hope this has been helpful, and very best regards.

  13. have a zeppelin cover 1932 from Brazil to switzerland. could I email a scan for you to look at and advise me on its authenticity and value ?

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