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Vintage Piero Fornasetti  Porcelain 'Mongolfiere' Plate.

Vintage Piero Fornasetti Plate,

Mongolfiere (hot air) Design,



The large Piero Fornasetti plate depicts a large hot air balloon with a panel describing the image which refers to Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier's flight on November 25 1783 with the Marquis d'Arlandes which was the first manned flight.

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier in June 1783, witnessed the first public demonstration of a balloon by the Montgolfier brothers. On 19 September, he assisted with the untethered flight of a sheep, a cockerel and a duck from the front courtyard of the Palace of Versailles. The French King Louis XVI decided that the first manned flight would contain two condemned criminals, but de Rozier enlisted the help of the Duchess de Polignac to support his view that the honour of becoming first balloonists should belong to someone of higher status, and the Marquis d'Arlandes agreed to accompany him. The King was persuaded to permit d'Arlandes and de Rozier to become the first pilots.

After several tethered tests to gain some experience of controlling the balloon, de Rozier and d'Arlandes made their first untethered flight in a Montgolfier hot air balloon on 21 November 1783, taking off at around 2 p.m. from the garden of the Château de la Muette in the Bois de Boulogne, in the presence of the King. Their 25-minute flight travelled slowly about 5½ miles (some 9 km) to the southeast, attaining an altitude of 3,000 feet, before returning to the ground at the Butte-aux-Cailles, then on the outskirts of Paris.


Dimensions: 10 inches x 3/4 inches

Mark: Image of hot air balloon with a number on its side and below- Mongolfiere/Fornasetti/ Milano/Made in Italy and to the right the Fornasetti hand and brush.

See  Fornasetti: The Complete Universe, Barnaba Fornasetti, Page 616, #167 for four examples from set.

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