A look at Charles Lindbergh's rise from aviation pioneer to auction star



It's a fact that bidders at collectibles auctions are attracted to 'firsts'. Whether it's memorabilia attached to mankind's first Moon landing, or to the first President of the United States...

And today in history, May 20, 1927, another landmark "first" for mankind began - an event that was as important to its era as when Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon in 1969.

Six people had already died attempting the same feat, and the person who achieved it became a national hero: none other than aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh.

Due to the importance of his role
in history, Charles Lindbergh's
autographs, like this example
on a dinner menu for sale
, will
continue to grow in value

On that day, Lindbergh took off for Paris from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, in his customised plane, the Spirit of St Louis.

Thirty-three hours and 30 minutes later he would safely land in the French capital, having successfully completed the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

The event was human history's first ever non-stop flight:3,600 statute miles. Needless to say, the world was never the same again...

And neither were the collectibles markets. Just like Neil Armstrong (who is today the world's rarest and most valued living signature) Lindbergh has brought huge gains to collectors worldwide.

In 1999 a collection of Lindbergh rarities sold for $178,000, including hammer fee. Included were a five-line typewritten endorsement signed by Lindbergh, some other pieces of mail carried on the Spirit of St Louis and an autographed note.

Even a letter written and posted by Lindbergh after his arrival in Paris brought $75,000 at another sale in 2002.

Yet even more impressive than these examples are three pieces of memorabilia that are still for sale on the private markets: a collection of parts from the Spirit of St Louis herself...

After residing in the collection of Lindbergh's trusted engineer, Kenneth Lane, for decades, the parts are up for sale with an asking price of £125,000. Their counterparts can still be found in the Spirit of St Louis, which is exhibited in the Smithsonian alongside the Apollo 11 Lunar Module.

And, considering that the Apollo 11 Lunar Module's value is estimated at tens of millions of dollars, it's pretty much a given that Charles Lindbergh's collectibles - whether it's his autograph, or other more unique pieces - will continue bringing huge gains to collectors as alternative investments for many years to come.


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