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Lunardi, Vincent, 1759–1806
Admission ticket for the balloon ascension of Vincenzo Lunardi on May 13, 1785.
Additional Title(s):
This ticket will admit one person into the Armory House
England, 1785.
Physical Description:
1 admission ticket : engraving ; 7.5 x 12 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
TL620.L8 A2 1785 Box
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
"When Mr. Lunardi first ascended with his balloon from the Artillery Ground, it was the desire of Mr. [George] Biggin to accompany him; but the balloon was found incapable of carrying them both. He was a second time disappointed on the 13th of May, 1785, by reason of some mis-management and confusion that took place in the operation of filling Mr. Lunardi's balloon with inflammable air; the consequence of which was that Mr. Lunardi ascended alone, but soon after made a rapid descent, occasioned by the bursting of the balloon. On Wednesday the 29th of June, 1785, Mr. Biggin, in company with Mrs. [Letitia Anne] Sage, ascended from Mr. Arnold's Rotunda in St. George's-Fields. The sight was uncommonly grand, and afforded ample satisfaction to the numerous spectators. ..."--New London Magazine, October 1785, p. 178. A scene of Biggin, Sage, and Lunardi in the balloon is depicted in John Francis Rigaud's painting: Captain Vincenzo Lunardi with his Assistant George Biggin, and Mrs. Letitia Anne Sage, in a Balloon, oil on copper, 1785 (Yale Center for British Art, B1981.25.532). See link herewith.
The engraved ticket, printed in red ink, bears an image of Lunardi's balloon (unmanned) at center, flanked by text: "This ticket will admit one person into the Armory House. Price 10s. 6d. N.B. There is no necessity of showing it at the Artillery Ground gate, where five shillings must be paid for admission, but only deliver it at the Armory House door. Bunhill Row, and the City Road Gates, are the most convenient for entrance."
The ticket is accompanied by a manuscript letter from Lunardi, unsigned: "Mr. Lunardi presents his respectful compliments to Sir T. [?] Leake & entreats his acceptance of the inclosed, and hopes to have the honor of his company on the day of his ascension, which will be on Friday, May 13, at twelve o'clock precisely. Poland Street. The Prince of Wales will be present." The letter is written in black ink, on laid paper.
Subject Terms:
Amusements -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Balloon ascensions -- History.
Ballooning -- History.
Balloons (Aircraft)
Biggin, George, 1760-1803.
Great Britain -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
Leake, T., Sir. -- Letter from Vincent Lunardi.
Lunardi, Vincent, 1759-1806.
Lunardi, Vincent, 1759-1806. -- Letter to Sir T. Leake.
Sage, L. A., Mrs.
Admission tickets.
IIIF Manifest:

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