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Steven-R, Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 2769
Experience:  I am a retired Major, US Army, and an antiques and collectibles consultant based on the east coast.
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I am in possession of a Spherical Balloon

Customer Question

I am in possession of a Spherical Balloon Pilot's license issued by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, National Aeronautic Association of U.S.A., Inc. on March 20, 1934. It is a small, leather-bound, 4-page document (including inside of both front and back covers), includes the picture of the licensee over which is an embossed seal. The license is authentic and is signed by Orville Wright, Chairman and Geo. Lewis, Executive Vice-Chairman, of the Contest Committee. Mr. Bache was born in 1903 and died at the age of 102 in 2004; he married my husband's first cousin and I was his guardian as he grew older and could no longer take care of his personal affairs. Mr. Bache retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant-Colonel and later served on the FAA for many years. He had a very interesting military and civilian career which included working with German engineers at Goodyear Tire & Rubber (where his uncle was President) on the Macon and Akron dirigibles. I am looking for an approximate value for the Spherical Balloon Pilot's license signed by Mr. Wright. If you cannot help me, perhaps you can point me in a direction where I can find an answer to my question.
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Steven-R replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am pleased to help. I have seen scores of these, by the way--the real value is due to the Wright signature, honestly. Most today appear to sell in the $2,500 to $3,000 range but with the associated history, you might see a premium of up to $1,000 depending on how many are on the market at any given time--the Balloon aspect is a bit more uncommon that those for airplanes, by the way. If selling, you should consider a major auction house that deals in ephemera such as Heritage in Dallas, Texas, who has sold several of them. I have seen online appraisals stating the value of items such as that up to $12,000 but I assure you, that is absurd--and there are no documented sales in the past two years anywhere near close to that number, unfortunately. If I can be of further assistance on this topic in any manner, please just ask--my goal is to provide accurate and prompt information back to you in a professional manner.Anytime I can help you out on any other topic, just let me know--you can request me by simply putting my name at the beginning of a posted question.Please take a minute to rate my answer and fill out any surveys the site sends to you as that is how we are evaluated for service and also credited for our time and effort.Have a blessed day!With kind regards,Steve

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