antique prints, maps and watercolors

After Frederick George Byron. "A Representation of Mr Lunardi's Balloon, as exhibited in the Pantheon, London 1784. Framed $1,800.00

click for detailed image Ballooning aquatint .JPG

"A Representation of Mr Lunardi's Balloon, as exhibited in the Pantheon, 1784..."


‘Balloonomania’ swept Britain in the last quarter of the 18th century, thanks largely to the exploits of the early aeronaut Vincenzo Lunardi. Following in the footsteps of the Montgolfier brothers in France, Lunardi arrived in London from Italy in the early 1780s determined to demonstrate the wonders of balloon-powered flight to the public. On the morning of 15 September 1784 nearly 200,000 people watched as Lunardi launched into the air in a hydrogen balloon, accompanied by his animal companions and drifted northwards for 24 miles before landing safely in Hertfordshire. For the next 50 years or so balloon flights across Britain became all the rage, drawing huge and expectant crowds whenever news of a launch was published, influencing science, literature and even fashions in the process.

The Balloon Stone (Lunardi Monument) at Standon Green End reads: “Let posterity know, and knowing be astonished, that on the 15th day of September 1784 Vincent Lunardi of Lucca in Tuscany, the first aerial traveller in Britain, mounting from the artillery ground in London and traversing the regions of the air for two hours and fifteen minutes, in this spot revisited the earth.” Lunardi flew twenty-four miles with a dog, a cat, and a pigeon. The cat got airsick. His balloon was then exhibited in the Pantheon.
Aquatint by Francis Jukes, printed by Valentine Green after Frederick George Byron, printed in 1784.


Uncolored aquatint engraving.
16.5 x 21.5 sheet. Archivally framed 24.5 x 29.5 inches
Very good condition.