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.