First manned hydrogen balloon flight of Les Frères Robert, Paris 1783

First manned hydrogen balloon flight of Les Frères Robert, Paris 1783

Code: 10552


H: 21.2cm (8.3")W: 24.2cm (9.5")


"VUË PRISE DU PONT ROYAL - Seconds Voyageurs Aëriens, ou Expérience de MM. Charles et Robert, Faite a Paris Dans le Parterre de Jardin Royal des Thuilleries le I. Decembre 1783."
Published byJacques François Chéreau (1742-1794)
rue de Mathurins, aux deux Pilliers d'Or
Paris c.1783

21.2 cm high x 24.2 cm wide (platemark)

Lot 297, Christie's London "Decorative, Sporting and Topographical Prints", 17th May 1988

Antique French coloured etching commemorating the first manned hydrogen balloon flight. The balloon built by the engineering brothers known collectively as "Les Frères Robert", Anne-Jean Robert (1758–1820) and Nicolas-Louis Robert (1760–1820) and flown by the latter along with Jacques Alexandre César Charles (1746 –1823) from the Garden of the Château des Tuileries on December 1, 1783. As many as 400,000 people - around half of Paris's population at the time - came to witness Messrs. Charles and Robert ascend into the heavens. The scene shows the large crowd gathered in the gardens with the balloon taking to the air. A small circular map vignette entitled "Carte des Voyages Aërostatiques"  shows the balloon's early flightpaths (this has a stong case for being the world's first aeronautical map). The French text beneath describes the event and expands upon various labels within the map vignette.

See Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum Collection [A20140599000] for similar.