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Lot 6: Le “Wright” à Pau. 1909
November 18, 2012
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Artist: W. D'ERTAHIAL Size: 29 1/8 x 19 5/8 in./74 x 49.8 cm Rundinettes, Paris “Paul Tissandier, an experienced balloonist and Wilbur’s newest student, persuaded him to transfer operations to the warmer climate of Pau, in the south of France. Delighted with the prospect of an influx of tourists, local officials offered the perfect flying field, 165 acres of flat landscape with no trees, known as the Pont-Long. They would also provide a combination hangar and living quarters, complete with a fully equipped shop. Meals would be prepared by a gourmet chef. . . . Wilbur completed 64 flights at Pau between February 3 and March 20. . . . A parade of notables continued to make the pilgrimage to the flying field. King Alfonso XIII of Spain, an avid amateur photographer, hoped to be mistaken for a tourist. England’s Edward VII looked on as Katharine flew for the first time as a passenger. Lord Balfour . . . asked if he could join the team of workmen raising the weight back to the top of the catapult tower before a flight. Noticing another young aristocrat tugging on the line, Lord Northcliffe remarked to Orville that he was sure ‘. . . it is the only useful thing he has ever done in his life’” (Crouch & Jakab, p. 174). Little of that hullabaloo is shown in this rare d’Ertahial pochoir lithograph, simply the agreeable clash of technology and countryside.
Condition Report: B/ Restored slight tears at bottom edge.
Dimensions: 29 1/8 x 19 5/8 in./74 x 49.8 cm
Artist or Maker: W. D'ERTAHIAL