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As America threw off the shackles of Prohibition and partied through the Depression the German cutler brought classic drinking novelties such as the Zeppelin, the skyscraper and the lighthouse to the hippest bars in town.

Among J.A. Henckels most ambitious creations, and the epitome of 1930s glamour, was a nickel-plated steel cocktail set, fashioned as an aircraft seen at Amersham Auction Rooms on August 7. The 15 or so component parts of the set – marked DRGM (Deutsche Reichs Gebrauchs Muster) – include a pair of spirit flasks that form the wings, a cocktail shaker (the fuselage) plus four interlocking beakers, a funnel and four spoons and a corkscrew, all fully portable in a stitched pigskin case.

With the shaker fully assembled it measured 13in (23cm) high, larger than the more common 9in (23cm) version, smaller than a unique 18in (46cm) example made for an exhibition in 1927 for which an unshaken Simon Khachadourian, author of The Cocktail Shaker and proprietor of London’s Pullman Gallery, bid a record price close to $50,000 at Phillips New York in 2001.

The production-line example at Amersham was not in that bracket but had crucially survived with all elements intact (collectors will sometimes buy incomplete versions in the hope of successfully marrying two together) and there were bids on the book for as much as £3000 plus six telephone lines booked even before viewing had begun. Mr Khachadourian parted with £4200 (plus 15% buyer’s premium) to add it to his stock of more than 1000 cocktail shakers.