Elegant captain's dinners, glamorous ball nights and the traditional afternoon tea served by the staff in white gloves - all that was part of the standard luxury when travelling on the QUEEN ELIZABETH 2. Life on board the passenger ship was characterized by refined tastes and a pronounced class-consciousness.
Depending on the ticket, passenger accommodations varied from balcony suites to basement cabins and passengers were only allowed to eat at restaurants in the corresponding travel category. All guests had assigned tables where they dined every evening and were always served by the same personnel. The difference between the categories was not only evident from the menus being offered and the level of service being provided by the staff. The tableware with which the food and drink were served also varied in consonance with the class of the restaurant.
The two cups shown here come from different restaurants in the first class area. The Berlin architect Helmut Zeumer took them home from his Atlantic crossing in 1994. He travelled in the lowest of the three categories into which first class was divided. As a result of becoming friends with the ship's personnel, he was given the opportunity to visit a restaurant in a higher category. It was there that he received the cup with the black-gold rim and the ornated shipping line's coat of arms as a gift. The cup with the somewhat simpler logo was taken from the restaurant assigned to passengers in his ticket category.
Helmut Zeumer was a passionate collector of travel souvenir tableware. Cups from cruise ships were among his favourite objects. Over 200 ship´s cups belonging to his estate became part of the Deutsches Technikmuseum collection this year.