Museum Open Monday

The New-York Historical Society Museum will be open Monday, December 22. For details, please visit our calendar.

Aeronautical trophy

Aeronautical trophy
Title
Aeronautical trophy
Date 
ca. 1907
Medium 
Silver, wood
Dimensions 
Overall: 23 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. ( 59.7 x 40 cm )
Description 
Cast and wrought silver aeronautical trophy in the form of a hot air balloon supported by two winged victories holding laurel wreaths above two American bald eagles on a circular base with four feet; base repoussé chased with stars, moons and foliate designs; trophy rests on a silver and wood pedestal in the shape of the upper hemisphere of the globe with inscribed continents and longitude and latitude lines; four rests for the base feet applied around the sides; medallions applied to the front and back of the balloon, the front surrounded by rope and a dangling, cast anchor; front medallion engraved, "AERO CLUB/ AMERICA" in block letters; reverse medallion engraved, "THE LAHM/ AERONAUTICAL CUP/ IS OFFERED BY THE/ AERO CLUB OF AMERICA/ FOR A DISTANCE CONTEST IN THE UNITED STATES OPEN TO PILOTS/ OF THE CLUB./..." in block letters; four rectangular plaques with foliate decoration are applied to the wooden pedestal, to are engraved; retailer's marks stamped on a small plaque applied to the wooden pedestal.
Credit Line 
Bequest of Alan R. Hawley
Object Number 
1938.250a-c
Marks 
engraved: on the reverse medallion: "THE LAHM/ AERONAUTICAL CUP/ IS OFFERED BY THE/ AERO CLUB OF AMERICA/ FOR A DISTANCE CONTEST IN THE UNITED STATES OPEN TO PILOTS/ OF THE CLUB./ THIS CUP IS GIVEN TO COMMEMORATE THE/ VICTORY OF THE CLUB'S REPRESENTITIVE/ LIEUTENANT FRANK P. LAHM, U.S.A./ IN THE FIRST CONTEST FOR THE GORDON/ BENNETT INTERNATIONAL CUP, STARTING/ FROM PARIS, FRANCE, SEPTEMBER 30, 1906,/ CROSSING THE ENGLISH CHANNEL AND/ LANDING AT FLYING DALES, ENGLAND./ OCTOBER 1, 1906, TRAVELING/ A DISTANCE OF 402 MILES/ AND DEFEATING FIFTEEN/ COMPETITORS." in block letters engraved: on the plaques on the base: "CAPTAIN CHARLES DE F. CHANDLER, U.S.A./ ST. LOUIS, MO, TO WALTON, WEST VA, 473.56 MILES, OCT. 17, 1902/ A. HOLLAND FORBES./ ST. LOUIS MO, TO CHESTERFIELD CO. VA. 697.17 MILES, OCT. 12, 1909/ ALAN R. HAWLEY/ ST. LOUIS MO. TO LAKE TSITOGAMA CHICOUTIMI CO. PROVINCE OF QUEBEC, OCT. 17, 1910 1172.9 MILES." engraved: front medallion engraved, "AERO CLUB/ AMERICA" in block letters engraved: on small plaque apllied to the wood pedestal: "BLACK, STARR/ & FROST/ NEW YORK"
Gallery Label 
Alan R. Hawley (1869-1938), a champion balloonist and aviation advocate, he won this magnificent trophy in 1910 for his record-breaking balloon trip from St. Louis, Missouri, to Chicoutimi County in Quebec, a distance of 1,172.9 miles in two days' time. In honor of this feat, Hawley's name was inscribed on the trophy's base following the names of the previous winners. As stipulated in the club's guidelines, the trophy became Hawley's permanent property in 1913, when his record remained unbeaten after three years. The Lahm Cup, made at a cost of $1,500, represents a sculptural interpretation of the traditional two-handled loving cup. The cup is a faithful replica of a hot air balloon with a woven passenger basket. Around the balloon and basket are representations of an anchor, sandbag weights, and twisted and wound security ropes. The balloon is supported by two Winged Victory figures holding laurel wreaths, riding on two eagles, and mounted on bracket feet constructed of symbols of the sky, all allusions to the success of this early step in the development of air travel.
Provenance 
Presented to Alan R. Hawley (1869-1938), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group