Object ID #404536667
By the late 1920s J.A. Henckels, a well-established German manufacturer of steel blades, had expanded into the giftwares market and established a storefront at 73 Fifth Avenue at 57th Streeet. As part of this expansion from pocket knives and razor blades, their traditional market, Henckels offered a smoker’s companion set and a travelling cocktail bar in the shape of an airplane, and this travelling cocktail bar in the shape of the Zeppelin Airship. This expansion in production to the novelties market was in keeping with many industrial manufacturers of this period who aimed to raise their revenue with a greater range of goods that would appeal to the consumer market.
The form of the Zeppelin Airship, a feat of modern technology and transportation, references the mobility of this set itself and at the same time its streamlined shape speaks to the popularity of graceful curves and smooth surfaces in this period. During prohibition drinking accessories often hid their function, taking on playful new designs including cocktail shakers in the shape of skyscrapers and penguins (1971-92-1-a,b). This example, like the airplane, celebrates a new mode of transport-the air-and the expanded travel that high speed suggested, along with the concept of having portable cocktail accessories These accessories animated the act of drinking and turned drink-making into the entertainment that was central to the rise of cocktail culture in the 1920s and 1930s.
This popular form combines the increasing vogue for cocktails, air travel and the popularization of industrial design for domestic use that evolved in the 1920s, making it a visual encyclopedia of Jazz Age design.
This object was donated by George R. Kravis II.
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Cite this object as
Object ID #404536667; silver-plated brass; 2018-22-33
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.