Description

    Admiral Richard E. Byrd: His Personal Seal-Fur Parka with Hood. What could possibly be a more evocative memento of this legendary polar explorer than such a parka, quite probably worn by Byrd on one of his expeditions? Amazingly, it has survived in excellent condition, avoiding the sort of dry rot and shedding which afflict many older fur garments. We have no specific history on this parka, but it is probable that it was sold as part of a large auction of Byrd's effects held in Boston in the early 1980s. However, the clearly-vintage tags and the nature of the parka speak for themselves. The length including the integral hood is 49 inches.

    Richard Byrd was born into a prominent Virginia family (his brother was legendary Virginia Senator Harry Byrd), and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He took an immediate interest in aviation, and World War I gave him the opportunity to develop a real expertise and some reputation in this still- emerging field. Byrd first rose to national prominence in 1926, when he claimed to have flown over the North Pole, the first man to do so, for which he received the Congressional Medal of Honor and broad acclaim.

    Sponsored by the Wanamaker department store family, Byrd then pursued the same prize as Charles Lindbergh for flying across the Atlantic. However his plane suffered a rather serious crash during preparations, and before it could be repaired Lindbergh had won the prize.

    In 1928, Byrd launched his first Antarctic expedition, a major undertaking involving two ships. He immediately established his famous base camp "Little America," and from there conducted various explorations and scientific inquiries. On November 29, 1929 he succeeded in flying over the South Pole and back to base. Admiral Byrd would make four more Antarctic expeditions, the last in 1955-56. In addition to the Medal of Honor, he received the Congressional Lifesaving Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Navy Cross, and three ticker tape parades. Heritage is pleased to be able to present this wonderful relic from one of America's most famous and distinguished heroes.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2010
    17th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,033

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