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Aeronautical trophy

Object Number: 
1938.250a-c
Date: 
ca. 1907
Medium: 
Silver, wood
Dimensions: 
Overall: 23 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. ( 59.7 x 40 cm )
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/
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.
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.
Credit Line: 
Bequest of Alan R. Hawley
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