The Old Print Shop

The Air Balloon. Which was Launched in the Artillery ground Nov.r 25, 1783.


  • PUBLISHER: Publish'd Dec. 1st, 1783 by I. Marshall & Co. No. 4 Aldermary Church Yard. Bow Lane, London.

  • MEDIUM: Engraving,

    DATE: 1783

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 10 1/8" x 6 7/8" (276 x 176 mm)

  • DESCRIPTION: This engraving depicts the historic balloon ascent from the Artillery Ground on November 25, 1783, marking a significant milestone in early aviation history. On that day, Count Francesco Zambeccari launched his 10-foot diameter hydrogen balloon, drawing a large crowd of spectators eager to witness the marvel of flight. The balloon, released from the grounds of the Honourable Artillery Company, ascended gracefully into the sky and was later found near Petworth, Sussex, nearly 40 miles away. <br><br> Count Francesco Zambeccari, born in Bologna in 1752, was an Italian aviation pioneer. After fleeing the Spanish Inquisition, he observed the first unmanned balloon flights by the Montgolfier brothers in Paris in 1783. Inspired, Zambeccari moved to London, where he launched Britain's first unmanned hydrogen balloon earlier that November. The event on November 25th was a more publicized and ambitious follow-up to this initial experiment. <br><br> The significance of Zambeccari's flights lies in their role in pioneering aerial exploration and paving the way for manned balloon flights. This particular event, occurring almost a year before the first manned flight in England by Vincent Lunardi, highlights the early enthusiasm and experimentation in the field of aviation. The engraving serves as a visual testament to these groundbreaking endeavors and the spirit of scientific curiosity that propelled them.

  • ADDITIONAL INFO: This piece is in a mat for handling, measuring 13.5" x 11". The mat is likely from the original collector and is itself old, probably dating back to the mid-20th century.

  • CONDITION: In good condition with normal age-related toning. There is a dog-ear crease in the lower right corner.


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