102410 | FRANCE. First Manned Balloon Flights bronze Medal.
102410 | FRANCE. First Manned Balloon Flights bronze Medal. Issued 1784 (50mm, 64.53 g, 12h). By A. Pajou at the Paris Mint.
AUDACIA FELIX, Montgolfière (hot air, in foreground) and Charlière (hydrogen, in background) balloons in flight; in five lines in exergue, AERA PERMEARUNT XXI. NOV. / L. F. DARLANDES ET F. PILATRE / I. DEC. J. A. C. CHARLES / ET M. N. ROBERT / ANNO MDCCLXXXIII // PATEFACTO / PER AERA ITINERE / A JOSEPHO ET STEPHANO / MONTGOLFIER / V. JUNII MDCCLXXXIII. / REI MEMORIAM / POSTERITATI TRADI JUSSIT / LUDOVICUS XVI. / ANNO MDCCLXXXIV. in nine lines within circular border composed of stars. Edge: Plain.
Malpas 6. Choice Mint State. Mottled red-brown-olive surfaces, with some pleasing brilliance. Includes original roundelle of issue.
The latter part of the 18th century saw a rapid increase in the experimentation of flying, with two events in France in late 1783 taking ballooning to new heights. The brothers Montgolfier, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne, created a balloon utilizing hot air to generate buoyancy, with the first untethered, free flight with human passengers occurring on 21 November 1783. In light of this, Jacques Charles and the brothers Robert pushed forth with their design, a hydrogen balloon, and its manned flight on 1 December. From that point forward, man conquering the heavens was realized for all to see. This medal, designed by Pajou the following year, captures these two monumental flights separated by less than two weeks, and has become one of the iconic medallic images for any aviation-based collection.
Upload: 1 June 2023.
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