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Lot #495
Charles Lindbergh

TRANSATLANTIC TREASURE: Original relic from the SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS signed by LINDY in the year of his historic flight

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TRANSATLANTIC TREASURE: Original relic from the SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS signed by LINDY in the year of his historic flight

Original piece of fabric from The Spirit of St. Louis, approximately 2 x 3, signed in fountain pen “C. A. Lindbergh” and dated in another hand September 6, 1927. The provenance of this extraordinary relic can be traced to James E. Morrow, a member of the welcoming committee for the triumphant American tour following Lindbergh’s historic flight. (Morrow was reportedly a relative of Anne Spencer Morrow, who became Mrs. Charles Lindbergh in 1929; James E. Morrow was also the name of Anne’s paternal grandfather.) Soon after Lindbergh’s return from France, millionaire aviation enthusiast Harry Guggenheim dipped into a promotional fund he had set up with his father, Daniel, to sponsor a nationwide tour for Lindbergh and the plane he made famous. Over a three-month period from July to October 1927, Lindbergh flew and touched down the Spirit of St. Louis in all forty-eight states, gave hundreds of speeches, and rode in countless parades, where he was greeted as a conquering hero by unprecedented adoring throngs. Many surviving remnants of the Spirit were evidently removed as part of routine maintenance and repairs immediately prior to and during this cross-country tour, over the course of which Lindbergh logged thousands of miles in the air. The September 6 date indicates that Lindbergh signed while he was in Montana; on the same day, he flew from Butte to Helena, returning to Butte on September 7 for several days of much-needed rest. At the conclusion of the tour, Morrow presented the item to his daughter, Vera M. Morrow (1907–2004), who had earlier accompanied him to the legendary ticker-tape parade for Lindbergh in Manhattan on June 21, 1927. The item remained in Vera’s possession until 1999. Handsomely shadow-box matted and framed with a photo and engraved explanatory plaque to an overall size of 31.25 x 23.25. The signature is just a shade light, in keeping with the nature of the materials, but quite clear. Apart from some light wrinkling, the item is in fine, clean condition. While dime-sized (and typically, even smaller) remnants from the Spirit of St. Louis appear on the market from time to time, examples of this size—constituting some six square inches of fabric—are of the greatest scarcity and desirability. However, the addition of Lindbergh's signature, which must be regarded as the ultimate authentication, creates an alchemy that places the present item into a class of its own. Far from a mere “flown souvenir,” it represents the very substance of the craft that bore Lindbergh across the Atlantic—and his own concrete, even intimate acknowledgement of a feat that attained near-mythic status and catapulted him to everlasting fame. It is, simply, one of the most significant Lindbergh relics ever to come to market—and one that deserves a place in the most advanced of aviation collections. Auction LOA John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and R&R COA. Oversized.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #334 - Ended June 18, 2008