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Aerostation out at the Elbows


Very rare etching print from 1786 by artist Thomas Rowlandson. Aerostation out at the Elbows or The Itinerant Aeronaut. Print shows a down-at-heel aeronaut, begging with a ragged, deflated balloon on his back. Print also contains an amusing poem at the bottom. Fair condition, four brown marks from being affixed, otherwise clean and crisp. Figure shown in print is a caricature of Vincenzo (Vincent) Lunardi an Italian who made the first aerial voyage by hydrogen balloon in Britain (please see my other listing for a print of his flight). On the 15th of September in 1784 Lunardi took his pet cat and dog with him into his balloon and flew from London to Hertfordshire. Lunardi's balloon made several ascents in 1785: from St. George's Fields 29 June (when he filled the balloon but did not ascend, allowing Biggin to take his place), 9 Aug. from Liverpool, 5 Oct. from Edinburgh. Cf. BMSat 6880. Phlogiston was the name given by Priestley to oxygen, cf. BMSat 7887.

Thomas Rowlandson
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