Lot 4127 View Catalog
"Le Géant", the gondola of Nadar's balloon. Circa 1863. Albumen print. 9,5 x 12,5 cm. Mounted to board (minimal soiling). Nadar was an industrious inventor who realized early on the importance of aerial views for cartography and military intelligence. He undertook the first attempts to photograph from a balloon in 1855 and in 1863 he had a very large balloon constructed, known as "Le Géant", which had a circumference of 100 meters. The gondola was made of wicker, was circa four meters high, had four beds, a toilet and a darkroom as well as a lithograph press to print short reports which could be thrown from the balloon. After landing, wheels could be attached to the car so that horses could pull it. During his second flight in October 1863, Nadar had to make an emergency landing near Hanover, which also explains why this spectacular photo found its way into the collection of Ernst August von Hannover. - Slight surface scuffing, otherwise in very good condition with strong contrasts.
Provenance: The estate of Ernst August von Hannover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland