Lot #3035
Wright Brothers Signed Photograph

Excessively rare portrait signed by both Wilbur and Orville

Estimate: $15000+


Excessively rare portrait signed by both Wilbur and Orville

Exceptionally rare 3.5 x 5.5 real photo postcard of the Wright brothers standing side by side, boldly signed in the lower border in ink, "Orville Wright" and "Wilbur Wright." Reverse bears an ANS in French by Rene Pellier, the vice-president of the Aero Club of Sarthe, dated May 1, 1909, in full (translated): "10:30 PM-We just offered, the bronze for which you have contributed, to the Wright brothers, and I make haste to send you this card signed by them." In fine condition, with minor creasing and silvering to upper left corner, and a French postage stamp affixed to upper right.

Wilbur had arrived in Le Mans, France, in 1908 to conduct a series of public demonstration flights in order to secure a contact, and found Pellier to be one of his greatest advocates. Pellier was a passenger for 4 of the 5 test flights at Camp d'Auvours on October 5, 1908. Securing the contract with ease, Wilbur's flights captivated the public. At the beginning of 1909, Orville, who had been giving similar demonstrations in the US, arrived in France and the two traveled to Pau to train three selected French pilots. They then trained some military pilots in Rome before deciding to return to the United States, but first returned to Le Mans to say goodbye to their friends. At an honorary banquet on May 1, Leon Bollee presented them with an impressive bronze trophy symbolizing the Muse of Aviation on behalf of the Aero Club of Sarthe. This reception must have been where the famed brothers signed this postcard. An exceedingly rare example, this is the only signed portrait showing them together that we have encountered.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #592 - Ended September 11, 2020

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