KLM Delft Blue Houses.

Since I’ve never flown first or business on KLM, I just learned about their tradition of giving their upper cabins little blue-and-white Delftware homes modeled after old Dutch canal homes and filled with Jenever (a juniper flavored liquor quite similar to gin). They’ve been passing them out since 1952 and I can understand why they’ve spawned a collector’s craze–they’re quite cute.

Not to mention, they totally bring a little bit of luxury and fun back to air travel! They are about 2 to 4 inches tall… older additions were intended to function as ashtrays once the liquor was consumed (you could tap the cigarette into the chimney).

They started doing this because airlines were prevented by law to gifts less than 75 cents, but were able to give away as much liquor as a customer wanted. Before the law, KLM gave out Delft-blue tiles, which cost more than 75 cents.

The one above reminds me of SF Victorians. A new house is debuted every 7th of October (when the airline was founded). It’s actually the world’s oldest commercial airline at 91 years and there are now 91 different houses.

Every house is modeled after a real, live house… the above is a special edition of the House of Bols–the maker of the Genever. I think everyone should collect something… and these would be quite fun. All 91 are available for sale here.

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7 responses to “KLM Delft Blue Houses.

  1. Tash! I’ve never told you that I collect Delft blue tiles and have been for years. For whatever reason, I just can’t get enough of the windmill/boat theme in that beautiful blue. I have vague plans to use them someday to put up a backsplash in a kitchen or maybe hang above a mantle against a bold color wall. You’ll have to see them sometime.

  2. Where can I buy them??

  3. Hello, if you are still looking for these Houses I can help you. I am a collector, collect all houses KLM issued since 1952 and have a set for sale for a fare price (compared to min. 92 streches KLM Business class). Feel free to contact me. Regards, Willem

    • Hi Willem,
      I have 62 houses in great condition that I want to sell. Some are doubles.
      Interested. All 62 goes for €280 plus freight.
      Richard richard.dour@andour.se

    • Hi Willem.

      You write that you are a collector of KLM houses. I wonder if you can direct me to a website containing information about the houses?! I have got a number of the houses from my father and some of the houses are marked with a year and some are not, eg 2001, no 27.
      I would like to know more about them. I have found some information at KLMs homepage when using the search engine.

    • Hi Willem,
      I am interested to buy a set of KLM houses if still available.
      How much you wish to let go?
      Regards, James

  4. If you are a collector of KLM houses, you might like my book ‘Kingdom by the Sea, a celebration of Dutch cultural heritage’. You’ll get a sneak preview on my website kingdombythesea.nl I have visited every single house across the Netherlands which modelled for the iconic Delft blue KLM collection and reveal in my book the amazing and entertaining stories behind its facades. Feel free to contact me.

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