This is a fascinating PRE-WW I Zeppelin Badge that was produced when zeppelins’ use was primarily commercial. I have heard two different stories regarding the badge’s purpose. The first version states that it was intended for zeppelin crew members. The second version indicates it was a high-end badge produced in limited numbers for supporters of the Zeppelin Company’s collection campaigns. In either case, the badges were produced in very limited numbers and made to exacting standards. They were NOT cheaply-made trinkets, but rather of very elaborate high-quality construction.
The badge measures 1 ½” x 1 ¾,” and is shaped like a cut-out Prussian Eagle. The Eagle’s head appears at the twelve o’clock position, while its wings are at the three and nine o’clock positions. A small Hohenzollern Crown sits atop the eagle’s head. The obverse’s center features a high-quality circular enamel medallion measuring ¾” in diameter that covers the Eagle’s belly. Its black enamel background is emblazoned with a silver “Z” crossed horizontally by a zeppelin. The enamel exhibits some small imperfections, as well as one or two very minor chips. Overall, however, the enamel is complete and in very fine condition. Its reverse bears the manufacturer’s name, Mayer & Wilhelm, and its location, Stuttgart. It is a fine badge that is in good condition, overall.