Lot 9008: Striking vintage matte-finish 8 x 10 close-up portrait of Lindbergh in his aviation gear looking skyward, signed in fountain pen, "C. A. Lindbergh." Stamped on the reverse by Acme Newspictures, New York. In fine condition, with some toning from prior display, slight rippling to edges and a vertical crease to the upper right edge. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from JSA. Includes an original 7.5 x 9.25 negative of the image as prepared for halftone printing. Also includes retained carbon copies of 1953 letters from Frank Merta and UPI director Harold Blumenfeld sent to Leon Siler of the Treasury Department. Blumenfeld's letter, in part: "Frank says he made the shot when a movie man asked Lindbergh to remove his helmet. When the Colonel unbuttoned it, Frank screamed 'Hold it,' and got two shots. If you're going to re-write this story I'd appreciate it if you would identify Acme's successor as United Press." Merta's letter, in part: "As much responsible about that Lindbergh head picture I shot some 26 years ago as I am for snapping it. Your title 'The Viking' completed the masterpiece." An additional 1970 letter from Siler to Martin Merta forwards an article about the famous photograph. This material comes from the estate of Frank Merta, who captured this famous portrait of Lindbergh on July 20, 1927, at Mitchel Field while working for Acme Newspictures. This day marked the start of his nationwide tour after returning to the United States following his transatlantic flight on the Spirit of St. Louis. The Lindbergh 'Viking Head' is undoubtedly the most famous photo of the pioneering aviator, and as this superb signed example comes from the photographer's collection it is especially unique.
RR Auction's Space and Aviation Auction 463
Thursday, 22nd October 2015
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