Culture / Auctions

Lindbergh Lost Flying Hat Turns Up at Auction

The flying hat aviation pioneer Lindbergh lost over Paris after becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic is to be auctioned.

Nov 14, 2016 | By Staff Writer

The first hat to cross the Atlantic ocean – on Charles Lindbergh’s head, as seen above – could be yours at auction this week. Early aviation heroes such as Lindbergh, Alberto Santos-Dumont and Amelia Earhart continue to strike a chord, even with contemporary audiences. It is no surprise then that the auction of the aforementioned long-lost hat owned by Lindbergh is on course to set auction records this week.

The flying hat aviation pioneer Lindbergh lost while doing loop-the-loops over Paris after becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic is to be auctioned in the French capital. This isn’t merely a piece of clothing owned by Lindbergh though because it has tremendous provenance.

The leather and sheepskin cap which Lindbergh managed to lose twice in the space of a week after making history in May 1927, could make 80,000 euros ($88,000), according to Hotel Drouot auction house.

The “Lone Eagle” first lost the hat when he was mobbed after his plane, the Spirit of St Louis, landed at the Bourget airstrip near the French capital on May 21, 1927.

A mechanic handed the hat in to the US embassy that evening only for Lindbergh to lose it again seven days later when he was given special permission to perform aerobatic feats over the city in a borrowed French fighter.

The next morning a woman near Bourget found it in her vegetable patch.

The hat, which will go under the hammer on November 16, has been kept by the same family since. It wasn’t actually identified as Lindbergh’s until 1969.

Lindbergh returned to the US a hero, but six year later was hit by tragedy when his baby son, Charles Junior, was kidnapped from the family home. The body of the 20-month-old was later found nearby.