Memory from the era of the pioneers

This silver cup holds a touching memory. It is a relic of the heroic times when seaplanes, known as "Hydro-Aeroplanes", taking off and landing on the surface of the water was a true prowess and an attraction that brought in the crowds.

This explains the fact that only four pilots took part in the Geneva seaplane meeting on the 19th and 20th of August 1912 (the second meeting in the history of hydraviation). Except for René Grandjean who was Swiss, the three other pilots were all French: André Beaumont, Franck Barra and René Tétard.

In order to see the reality of these two days I would suggest you look at the reference article by M. Jean-Claude Cailliez (in English www.pionnair-ge.com) who also informs us that "On the first day, Lieutenant Colonel Etienne Borel gave a silver cup with an inscription to each of the airmen".

As you may guess, the hallmarked silver cup offered to you here is one of the four given to the airmen at this historical event. More precisely, it was the cup given to Franck Barra, as is shown by the inscription at the base of the cup: : « à Barra Meeting d’Hydro-Aéroplanes Genève 1912 ».

 

It must be pointed out that Franck Barra, whose real name was François Barra, had also accomplished an air raid from Orléans to Etampes (10 May 1911), and also qualified the Maurice Farman n°3 in the military aviation competition in Reims in October 1911. So many achievements make this small cup an extraordinary and delicate souvenir of the time of the pioneers, not to mention a genuine collectors item for those with a passion for this glorious era.

Sources :
* www.pionnair-ge.com (in English):
"Premier meeting d’hydro-aviation à Genève, le 2ème au monde et 1ers Genevois transportés (1912)"
** www.air-journal.fr (in French) :
"Le 10 mai 1911 dans le ciel : Le pilote Barra vole d’Orléans à Etampes"
*** www.hydroretro.com (in French):
"Le grand concours d’aviation militaire de Reims 1911"

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Barra's silver cup Geneva 1912
Diameter 11 cm (4.33"), height 11.5 cm (4.53")

   

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