This large swatch of red fabric was recovered from the Hindenburg after it exploded on arrival in New Jersey on May 6, 1937.
A total of 36 people were killed, although the vast majority of passengers miraculously survived.
The swatch is from the Nazi flag on the Hindenburg's tail fins
The lot is consigned by former Barack Obama aide Joshua Lamont, whose grandmother Rosemary Dowling was in attendance at the airfield after the crash and who picked this piece of fabric up from the wreckage.
Lamont relates in a letter of provenance: “I kept this piece of my family history on my office desk.
“Asked about it one day, I shared my grandmother’s story, revealing the red swatch preserved and hidden inside.
“Hearing this, our boss came in and insisted I find out more and report back.
“Weeks later, I delivered the report Mrs. Obama requested and what experts from the National Archives, The Smithsonian and other local university historians confirmed: this was not a piece brought onboard the airship, but an actual piece of the Hindenburg itself, fairly large compared to comparable known pieces.”
The red colouring means that this piece comes from the Hindenburg’s back tail fins, each of which was adorned with a large swastika.
It’s valued in excess of $4,000 ahead of the February 7 auction, which will also feature a handwritten note from Barack Obama.
The history of aviation is one of the most remarkable of all human stories. Shop our collection here.
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