Painted in blue with a landscape of houses, trees and a fence, with a hot air balloon in flight picked out in manganese and yellow, within a festooned border and a feathered rim, 22.7cm diam
Vincenzo Lunardi, 'The Daredevil Aeronaut' first demonstrated his hydrogen balloon flight in London on 15 September 1784, accompanied by a dog, a cat and a caged pigeon. Then again on June 29th 1785 when the actress Letitia Ann Sage became the first English Woman to fly. On 24 July 1785, Horace Walpole wrote to Horace Mann, 'How posterity will laugh at us, one way or other! If half a dozen break their necks, and balloonism is exploded, we shall be called fools for having imagined it could be brought to use: if it should be turned to account, we shall be ridiculed for having doubted.'