The Collection of Louis Vivien, a Paris bookseller who opened his shop in Rue des Ecoles in 1905, swiftly specialising in the aeronautical world after attending the inaugural Salon Aéronautique of 1908, provided Tajan (20.33% buyer’s premium) with yet another new sale theme – Aviation – on June 21.
The collection, consigned by Vivien’s descendants, ranged from
letters to posters and models, and included the menu of a dinner held at the Aéroclub de France in honour of Wilbur Wright in 1908; the menu, signed by Wilbur and with a sketch of him, sold for €1800 (£1240).
Letters from the pioneering French aviator Jean Mermoz to his friend Henri Fournier sold well above predictions, led by a two-page letter on Aerposta Argentina letterpaper, relating his mission to Brazil and Argentina, at €3000 (£2070).
Pick of the posters was this one, right, vaunting the Grande Quinzaine
d’Aviation de la Baie de Seine (Le Havre-Trouville-Deauville), an early if lengthy airshow staged in 1910. The colourful poster, 3ft 5in x 2ft 6in (1.05m x 75cm), had “slight folding” and sold just short of hopes for €4600 (£3170).
A wood and metal model (scale 1:8) of a Royal Aircraft Factory SE5 biplane, 3ft 9in (1.15m) long, estimate €6000-7000, went unsold, as did a set of six 1942 porcelain plates featuring photographs of Luftwaffe pilots, estimate at €1000.