CAG-certified Memorabilia Exceeds Expectations at University Archives Auction

Posted on 4/29/2022

The artifacts include wing fabric from the famed Wright Flyer, a flag that flew with Howard Hughes and a link to the life of Lord Horatio Nelson.

Three stunning artifacts certified by Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG ®), each of which were present at momentous historic events, sold at a recent University Archives auction for higher than anticipated prices. The auction, which closed on March 30, 2022, featured more than 400 lots of memorabilia including rare autographs, manuscripts, photographs, books and more.

Wing fabric from the famed Wright Flyer

Click images to enlarge.

One of the top items in the auction was a swatch of fabric that was flown on the famed Wright Flyer, which carried Orville Wright 120 feet during the first sustained manned aircraft flight in 1903. The swatch, which measures .5 inches by .75 inches, is from the Pride of the West muslin that was used to cover the wings of the plane.

The original muslin was replaced in the 1920s when the plane was refurbished in preparation for being displayed in the Science Museum in London. It passed from the Wright estate to Harvey D. Geyer, who was a friend of the Wrights and later the technical advisor to their estate.

The swatch, which was expertly preserved and encapsulated by CAG, was expected to sell for between $3,000 and $4,000. Its closing bid was $8,000, double its estimate.

A flag that flew with Howard Hughes

Click image to enlarge.

Another CAG-certified item sold in the auction was a 12-inch by 8-inch American Flag that flew with aviator and inventor Howard Hughes during his record setting flight around the world in July 1938. Hughes and his team completed their flight in 91 hours, shattering the record of 186 hours that had been set by Wiley Post in 1933.

After the historic flight, the flag passed to Albert Lodwick, who was Hughes’s Flight Operations Manager. It is believed that 50 of the flags were flown on the Lockheed 14 plane that Hughes used for the flight. It surpassed its estimate of $700 to $800 and sold for $1,000.

A link to the life of Lord Horatio Nelson

Click images to enlarge.

The third CAG-certified artifact to surpass its anticipated price was a swatch from a flag that flew on the HMS Victory during the historic Battle of Trafalgar in 1803. The HMS Victory was under the command of renowned British naval officer Lord Horatio Nelson, who, despite being outnumbered, led the British Navy to victory against the combined fleets of the Spanish and French Navies.

Lord Horatio, who is considered Britain’s greatest naval war hero, died during the Battle of Trafalgar after being shot by a French musketeer. The stories surrounding the flag say that it covered his coffin during his burial at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, but it was taken by several members of his crew before the burial was completed.

The swatch measures .625 inches by .75 inches. The CAG holder that encapsulates the swatch includes a custom label bearing the image of Lord Nelson. It surpassed its anticipated price of $1,000 to $1,200 and sold for $1,600.

CAG is proud to work with collectors, estates, artists, and museums to assist in the authentication and preservation of historic memorabilia. More information about its expert preservation and encapsulation services and the value that they bring to collectors is available here.

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free CAG eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the CAG eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List