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Autograph by Alberto Santos Dumont (1916)

Autograph by Alberto Santos Dumont (1916)

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A rare signature of a. Santos=Dumont in São Paulo

  • Autograph by Alberto Santos Dumont.
  • A leaf.
  • 12 cm x 10 cm.
  • São Paulo, September 20, 1916.
  • Good state.
  • Unique piece.

From May 1916, in the middle of the First World War, Santos Dumont was in Brazil and almost no longer flew. In fact, his health status changed drastically through the conjunction of overwork, a nervous breakdown and the onset of an irreversible illness, probably multiple sclerosis.

He traveled to Foz de Iguaçu to see the falls, Paraná and São Paulo, before arriving in Rio de Janeiro where he built and donated to the Brazilian Aeroclube a hangar on Saudade beach (today Vermelha beach in Urca), with the aim of serving hydroaviation. In fact, it was this type of aircraft that flew the only time on Brazilian soil at the beginning of 1917.

Do you know where this = comes from? To show his deep attachment to France, where he lived for many years, he wrote his double name, in the Portuguese or Brazilian fashion (first his mother's name then his father's), not with a single hyphen, but with a double sign to indicate that he considered these two countries as his two homelands on equal footing.

From that year of 1916 and the Great War, I saw very few documents signed by Santos Dumont, this is one of them. Furthermore, this signature is one of the most unusual with this “a” for Alberto and the = between Santos and Dumont.

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