23 Oct 2017
August 17, 2016 - Filed under: Auctions — Richard

A flying helmet worn by an American aviator is due to be auctioned in Paris later this year.

The helmet had been worn by Charles Lindbergh when he conducted his solo flight, breaking world records, across the transatlantic.

On 20th May 1927, Lindbergh left Long Island in The Spirit of St Louis, arriving in Paris at Le Bourget the following day. On his arrival, he faced an enormous crowd, and during the welcome, his cap was displaced. It was later returned by the mechanic who found it.

Lindbergh was the first pilot to make a solo flight between Paris and New York City, and was awarded the Orteig Prize, in addition to prize money of $25,000 (£19,170). Just a week later, Lindbergh was permitted to take a Nieuport fighter plane and fly over Paris. He returned to Le Bourget and took part in simulated air combat with Michel Detroyat, the test pilot. As he undertook a manoeuvre, his helmet went missing yet again. It was discovered the next day by a resident of Le Bourget, where it had landed in her vegetable garden, who decided she would keep the cap as a souvenir.

The helmet was kept by the family of the resident and was later authenticated during a 1969 TV documentary about Lindbergh. The cap is lined with sheepskin and has a label that reads ‘VL & A Chicago Sporting Goods exclusived’.

The antique will be auctioned on November 16th with an estimated price of between €60,000 (£52,000) and €80,000 (£69,000). The new owner may want to consider storing the helmet in an antique cabinet to protect it from damage.

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