Scarce Carstens Kommandit-Gesellschaft 1930’s German Cruise Liner
“Europa” Hand Painted Scenic Cup & Saucer
This is a fine example of an early 1930's scarce hand painted Scenic Cup & Saucer from the German Cruise Ship, "Europa".
The attractive hand painted Cup & Saucer measures as follows: Cup: 1-3/4" tall & 3-3/8" wide from rim to outer handle and Saucer: 4-1/8" wide. The Cup displays an intricate hand painted scene of the Cruise Ship, "Europa". [see photos] and has been gilded gold on both the rim and handle. The saucer has also been gilded on the outer rim.
The beautiful hand painted Scenic Cup and Saucer are in very good condition and totally free of chips, cracks, or other damage.
The Saucer displays the mark of a Blue Crown over the Letter N....which was used by the German company; Carstens Kommandit-Gesellschaft. Under the hand painted Ship scene are the words "Turbinen Schnelldampfer Europa" which appears to translate...."Turbines from N.Y. Europe".
Below is a history of the German Cruise Ship "Europa":
Europa was built in 1929 with her sister ship SS Bremen to be the second 50,000 gross ton North German Lloyd liner. They both were powered with advanced high speed steam turbine engines and were built with a bulbous bow entry and a low streamlined profile.
Europa and her slightly larger sister ship were designed to have a cruising speed of 27.5 knots, allowing an Atlantic crossing time of 5 days. This enabled Norddeutsche Lloyd to run regular weekly crossings with two ships, a feat that normally required three.
The launching of Europa took place at Blohm & Voss shipyard, Hamburg on Wednesday, August 15, 1928. Europa was intended to be completed in spring 1929. However, on the morning of 26 March 1929, a fire broke out while still at the equipment dock. The fire raged all day long and it was not until the evening when the fire was under control. The ship's turbines were damaged heavily and also the remainder of the ship had been significantly damaged.
After long discussions between builder and shipping company, it was decided to repair the ship. Within eleven months the ship was finished and completed on February 22, 1930. The cause of the fire has never been clearly identified
Europa made her maiden voyage to New York on 19 March 1930 taking the westbound Blue Riband from SS Bremen with the average speed of 27.91 knots and a crossing time of 4 days, 17 hours and 6 minutes.
Like Bremen, Europa had a small seaplane launched from a catapult on her upper deck between the funnels. The airplane flew from the ship to a landing at the seaplane port in Blexen. The pilots and technicians gained experience later applied to equipping German warships with on-board aircraft.
The catapult was removed from both Bremen and Europa after a few years of service, because it was too expensive and complex.
Europa was inactive for most of World War II. There were plans to use her as a transport in Operation Sea Lion, the intended invasion of Great Britain, and later conversion to an aircraft carrier. None of these plans came to pass, and in 1945, she was captured by the Allies and used as a troopship, sailing as the USS Europa. The United States claimed the ship as a war prize on 8 May 1945 and gave the vessel to the US Navy, which commissioned Europa 25 August 1945 with Captain B. F. Perry in command. Europa cleared Bremerhaven on 11 September 1945 for Southampton, England, where she loaded 4,500 homeward-bound American troops, arriving in New York on 24 September.
After alteration to increase her troop-carrying capacity, she made two voyages to Southampton to bring US servicemen home to the United States. She sailed from New York once more, on 15 March 1946, bound for Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, and Bremerhaven, where she moored on 24 March.
Europa suffered from small fires caused by the removal of the ship's original high-quality fittings and installation of inferior replacements to compensate for material shortages in the war effort. Also, several serious hull cracks were discovered. The vessel was decommissioned on 2 May 1946 and delivered to the State Department on 8 June 1946. She was later transferred to France in partial payment of war reparations.
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