Lot #3
Wilbur Wright

Highly sought-after handwritten letter from Wilbur to the director of the CGNA, the first commercial manufacturers of the Flyer

This lot has closed

Estimate: $0+

Description

Highly sought-after handwritten letter from Wilbur to the director of the CGNA, the first commercial manufacturers of the Flyer

ALS, one page on a 5.75 x 3.75 Hotel Esplanade postcard, postmarked May 6, 1911. Letter to Georges Tharel, director of the Compagnie Generale de Navigation Aerienne. In full: “Many thanks for your letter and the very amusing enclosure. I have laughed very much over it.” In fine condition. Accompanied by a vintage matte-finish 6.5 x 4.5 photo of Tharel posing by a flyer, signed in pencil by the photographer, Henri Manuel; three different vintage 6.5 x 4.5 photos of the ‘French Wright’ from 1911; and 1911 C. G. N. A. leaflet advertising flight performances as well as the planes themselves, which were available at a cost of $25,000 francs.

After two years of pitching their new Flyer to potential buyers around the world, the Wright brothers finally sparked the interest of the French Compagnie Generale de Navigation Aerienne (CGNA) in early 1908. The company agreed to purchase the Wrights’ French patents and the right to manufacture, sell, and license their airplanes in France under the condition that they successfully complete a series of demonstrations—the record-setting and attention-grabbing flights that Wilbur undertook in Pau, France, later that year, which not only secured the contract with CGNA, but also skyrocketed the brothers to international fame. This letter to Georges Tharel, director of the CGNA, is remarkable not only in its important association to the company that sold the first Wright Flyers, but also in its great rarity; due to Wilbur’s early death the following year, any handwritten materials by him are incredibly scarce. RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space & Aviation Auction
  • Dates: #419 - Ended November 21, 2013