Lot 496: Balloon Mail

RR Auction

2015-07-27 11:43:31

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Lot 496: ALS in French, signed "Marguerite," three pages on two adjoining onionskin sheets, 5 x 8, November 29, 1870. Untranslated letter providing a vivid account of the situation in the starving city of Paris after ten weeks of siege by Prussian forces, which ultimately led to French surrender in the Franco-Prussian War. The address panel on the reverse of the last page has a note, "par ballon monté," and is postmarked with the date of departure from Paris, November 29, and date of arrival in Saint Marcellin, December 5. Show-through from writing to opposing sides and paper loss to the edge of the last page from seal removal affecting a few words, otherwise fine condition. Used as an early airmail service, balloons were the only means of communication from within the besieged city of Paris to the rest of France. About sixty-five of these trips were made, nearly all arriving at their intended destination. The phrase "ballon monté" penned on the address panel indicates that it was to be carried by a manned balloon, versus an unmanned one. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458 Wednesday, 12th August 2015 Estimate: $1500-2000
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