Coins and Historical Medals (9 February 2021)

Date of Auction: 9th February 2021

Sold for £180

Estimate: £90 - £120

FRANCE, Ballons Dirigéables, 1885, a bronze medal by H.A.J. Patey, figure of Science pointing to airship flying at Chalais-Meudon, rev. Dædalus strapping wings to Icarus, 72mm (PBE 660; CGMP p.300; BDM IV, 426; Malpas –; Button 19; cf. DNW 157, 1414). Very fine £90-£120


In 1884 Charles Renard and Arthur C. Krebs, inventors and military officers in the French Army Corps of Engineers, built an elongated balloon, La France, which was the first airship that could return to its starting point in a light wind. It was 165 feet long, its maximum diameter was 27 feet, and it had a capacity of 66,000 cubic feet. It was propelled by a 7.5hp battery-powered electric motor which drove a 23-foot four-bladed wooden tractor propeller. La France made seven flights in all, the first on 9 August 1884