FABRIC FROM LINDBERGH'S SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS?
A square fragment of silver-coated textile, 4 x 5 inches, believed to be from the Spirit of St. Louis. Inscribed on the verso in ink "Toile du Spirit of St. Louis, capitaine Lindbergh, certifié authentique, [indistinct signature and faint ink stamp]." Together with a black and white photograph, 5 x 4½ inches, of Louis Blériot congratulating Lindbergh with a kiss on the cheek, heavily touched up for publication, with press ink stamp dated May 26, 1927, on verso.
Provenance: purchased at an aviation auction at Drouot conducted by Boisgirard approximately 10 years ago, and subsequently compared favourably alongside another fragment held by Paris' Le Bourget Air and Space Museum.
The Spirit of St. Louis was almost torn to shreds by souvenir-hunters when it landed at Le Bourget, outside Paris. "Within minutes of his turning off the magneto switch, [Lindbergh] was besieged in his small cockpit by people.... He could feel his beloved airplane move from the onrush and pressure of the people and the cracking of wood stringers on the side of the fuselage, the ripping of the fuselage fabric, the yelling and screaming" (Ev Cassagneres, The Untold Story of the Spirit of St. Louis, p 84).