Early Bird gets the worm at Regency Superior's Space and Aviation auction

Regency Superior has completed its sale of stamps, space collectibles and memorabilia which was greatly anticipated by many.

One of the key lots was a fantastic four volume collection of 'The Early Birds Club' (now known as The Early Birds of Aviation, Inc).

To be an 'Early Bird,' a pilot must have flown solo prior to December 17, 1916, and many of the original 599 are represented in the collection. Other pioneers have also been included.

In addition to autographs (of which there are 250 or so, mostly on covers), there are numerous photos, postcards, letters, newspaper clippings and other ephemera, in addition to loads of background material, including, for example, real-photo signed postcard of Thomas J Baldwin (license #7) and Walter Brookins-signed copy of 'Chirp,' (Early Bird newsletter).

Aviation Early Bird airmail
Aviation Early Bird airmail

Many of these pilots are not listed in Sanders Catalogue or elsewhere, and many rarely seen by aviation enthusiasts, which explains something of the lot's appeal, and potential as an alternative investment.

A few autograph examples included: Nicholas Rippin Abberly (soloed October 1910), Reinhart Ausmus (real photo postcard, 1912 monoplane), Caleb S. Bragg, Harry Bruno, Clyde Cessna, Howard C. Davidson, Charles H. Day (on photo), Charles 'Carl' Dolan, Charles Dollfus (on balloon sketch) and many more.

The Early Birds Club was founded in Chicago in December 1928, after International Aeronautical Show and air races, to preserve history of aviation primarily before WWI, and was intended to die with the last member.

The selection sold at the top of its estimate range of $5,000-7,000 for $7,020. Collectors interested in an even more exciting item from the history of aviation should take a look at this cheque signed by the Wright Brothers which represents the birth of the US airforce.


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