Ferdinand Ludwig von Zeppelin Passport 1828

Ferdinand Ludwig Zeppelin Passport

Passport issued by Count Friedrich von Zeppelin 1828
Friedrich von Zeppelin on a painting from 1838

I am delighted to share with you this excellent document which I could only acquire with the support of a great fellow collector. Theo, you are the best! Another superb example of a collector`s collaboration. The displayed passport issued by Count Friedrich Jerôme Wilhelm Karl Graf von Zeppelin, Minister of State, Supreme Chamberlain, Extraordinary Envoy of King Wilhelm I. of Württemberg at the Royal Austrian Court in Vienna, and father of Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin – the inventor of the Zeppelin airships.

The passport has several visas on the reverse and is printed/written on heavy paper. The condition is just excellent and is initially signed by Friedrich von Zeppelin. A masterpiece! I know a collector who had the passport of Ferdinand von Zeppelin (the Zeppelin inventor) in his collection. He claimed to have it sold for $8000. Having these two documents in one collection would be the perfect match.

Ferdinand von Zeppelin

joined the Austrian dragoon regiment Duke of Württemberg (number 38) in 1789 at the age of 16 as an ensign. The colonel-owner of the regiment was Duke Carl Eugen at that time. During the Turkish War from 1788 to 1791 Zeppelin suffered his first wound. In the twelve years, he belonged to the regiment he rose to the rank of knight master in 1800. Another serious wound in the Battle of Marengo on 14 June 1800 caused him a war injury, which caused him more or less serious complications throughout his life. One year later he was discharged from Austrian military service with honor.

On 16 August 1801 Zeppelin entered the service of the Duke and later King Friedrich of Württemberg. He was appointed ducal chamberlain, major and wing adjutant of the cavalry. In 1803 he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and in 1804 to colonel and commander of the Gardes du Corps. In 1805, for health reasons, he changed from active military service to the civil office of an electoral travel marshal. In 1807, he was appointed Real Privy Councilor and Extraordinary Plenipotentiary Envoy to Paris.

Bavarian-Württemberg Border Regulation Treaty

In July of 1810, he went from Paris to Ulm to supervise the implementation of the Bavarian-Württemberg border regulation treaty in the office of a “Landvogts an der Donau” (bailiff on the Danube). On 12 February 1812, King Frederick appointed him Minister of State and Cabinet and, succeeding Karl August Ludwig Graf von Taube, appointed him head of the Department of Foreign Affairs. It was Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s essential merit that on November 2, 1813, the Kingdom of Württemberg entered the coalition camp against Napoleon with the Treaty of Fulda in good time, so that Prince Metternich gave an assurance of the continued existence of the kingdom.

Thus Württemberg could emerge from the wars of liberation at the side of the victors. On 14 July 1814, Zeppelin took over the Department of Royal House and Family Affairs as State and Conference Minister in place of the sick Count von Taube and became Grand Chancellor of the Royal Orders and the police (especially in the two residences of Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg). The Department of Foreign Affairs went to the Count of Wintzingerode on 7 August 1814. As early as 27 July 1814, Zeppelin went to Paris to the court of the restored Bourbon King Louis XVIII as an extraordinary envoy, retaining his ministerial posts.

Zeppelin had to leave Paris

Due to the reign of the Hundred Days associated with Napoleon’s return from Elba, Zeppelin had to leave Paris in March 1815 in a hurry and return to Stuttgart. On 9 November 1816, he was again appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Royal House and Residence Police. With the constitution of the Privy Council in November 1817, he was appointed “Minister of State and Privy Council”. On 17 May 1819, he was dismissed from the Württemberg civil service. From 1819 to 1826 he was a landowner in the Württemberg town of Münster.

On 19 November 1820 Zeppelin was appointed a lifelong member of the Chamber of State Lords “as proof of royal trust”. In 1826 he became an extraordinary envoy at the imperial court of Vienna. On his way there, Zeppelin delivered a letter from his King Wilhelm of Württemberg to King Ludwig of Bavaria, who suggested the establishment of a customs association between the two kingdoms. In Vienna, he again met his former supreme employer, the Austrian Emperor Franz. At the age of 57, Ferdinand von Zeppelin died of a painful stomach complaint in Vienna. Ferdinand Ludwig von Zeppelin Passport 1828

The Passport

A large double-folio, thick paper. Issued in Vienna on 1 July 1828, just seven months before his death. The passport was issued to fifty-seven-year-old FRANZ VIERLINGER, a landowner. The document number is 52, and the passport was issued without charge (GRATIS), which is unusual for an “ordinary” man like Vierlinger. Besides the massive code of arms of the Kingdom of Württemberg on the upper margin, we can see the small code of arms of the house of Zeppelin at the lower margin, including the signature “Gr. von Zeppelin”.

The second signature is from the legation secretary HERMANN VON MASSENBACH (source: http://www.landesarchiv-bw.de/plink/?f=1-52784). Vierlinger’s passport bears eight visas from 1 July 1828 to 2 June 1829.

Without question, a passport issued by such a prominent person and statesman is a fantastic document of German passport history and at the same time most rare. Happy to have it in my fine collection.





Ferdinand Ludwig Zeppelin Passport

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