|RARE ENGLISH OR ITALIAN FOLDING FAN WITH PAPER DOUBLE LEAF.
THE FRONT PAINTED WITH POCHOIR TECHNIC. IT
IS A COMMEMORATIVE FAN OF ONE OF THE FIRST BALLOON FLIGHTS OF VINCENZO
LUNARDI. HE WAS BORN IN LUCCA (TUSCANY-ITALY, 1759/1806) AND LIVED IN
ENGLAND AS THE AMBASSADOR'S SECRETARY OF NEAPLE KINGDOM. HIS FIRST
FLIGHT WAS ON 1784, SEPT. 15th, WITH AN HYDROGEN BALLOON COVERED WITH A
NET. HE FLEW A LOT OF TIMES EVERYWHERE, AND HE BECAME VERY POPULAR. THIS
INSCRIPTION WAS PLACED WHERE HE ARRIVED THE FIRST TIME:
« Let posterity know, and knowing, be astonished, that on the fifteenth day of September, 1784, Vincent Lunardi of Lucca, in Tuscany, the first aerial traveller in Britain, mounting from the Artillery Ground in London, traversing the regions of theair for two hours and fifteen minutes, in this spot revisited the earth. On this rude monument for ages be recorded, that wondrous enterprise, successfully achieved by the powers of chemistry and the fortitude of man, that improvement in science, which the great Author of all knowledge, patronising by His providence the inventions of mankind, hath graciously permitted to their benefit and His own eternal glory. »
LUNARDI HAD A GREAT SUCCESS ALSO IN ITALY: NEAPLES, PALERMO, FLORENCE, ROME, AND THEN IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL, WERE HE DIED. THE FIRST FLIGHT WITH PERSONS ON BOARD WAS ON NOVEMBER 1783, WITH MONTGOLFIER BROTHERS. ON DEC. , 1st 1783 CAVENDISH FLEW ON PARIS WITH A GAS BALLOON. BUT THE FLY WHICH MADE MORE SENSATION WAS IN 1836: CHARLES GREEN FLEW FROM ENGLAND TO WEILBURG. IN 1861 THERE WAS THE FIRST FLY IN NORTH AMERICA. MY FAN IS CLEARLY AN ALLEGORY OF THE PROGRESS, WHICH MAKES TO CONVERGE PEOPLES AND EPOCHES OF THE HISTORY. HOWEVER, THERE ARE SOME PARTICULARITIES: IN FRONT OF THE BALLOON, WE SEE A WOMAN ON A HORSE. ON THE LEFT, A COUPLE OF SMALL DOGS, ONE OF THEM WITH AN UMBRELLA. ON THE SAME SIDE: A MEDIEVAL WARRIOR, AN ANCIENT ROMAN WITH A BIGA, A FEW SARACEN WARRIORS RIDING OSTRICHES (OR MYTHOLOGICAL SIMILAR ANIMALS. HOWEVER, OSTRICHES RIDING WAS NORMAL IN ANTIQUE ROME, WHERE IT WAS RESERVED TO NOBLE WOMEN). AT THE RIGHT, WE SEE NOBLES, COMMON PERSONS AND FARMERS WITH OCCIDENTAL DRESSES, PERHAPS ENGLISH. (THANKS TO THE FRIEND MR. THOMAS DE LEO). WOOD STICKS. 1830/50 CA. CM 24. MAX SPREAD CM. 43. STICKS 14+2.