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ARTIFACT: This is a silver second place Charles E. Thompson Trophy plaque awarded to pilot Earl Ortman at the 1936 National Air Races held at Mines Field in Los Angeles, California. The Thompson Trophy race was held annually from 1929 until 1938 only. The plaque is silver-plated bronze, cast by the Gorham Co. Foundry in Providence, Rhode Island. It bears the relief image of the Thompson Trophy and has the recipient's name and winning time hand-engraved at the bottom. Only 30 pre-war plaques total were awarded, and only ten awarded for placing, meaning this is one of only ten of these plaques on the planet. I have never seen one come to market: they are primarily still in families, museums, or privately traded amongst advanced aviation collectors. Cleveland sculptor Walter A Sinz was the artist chosen for this work (photo credit: www.airrace.com). Sinz later created a pair of 10 foot statues in this same design. This plaque came from the northern California estate of a couple who were both pilots, and who were sadly killed in crash of their own plane. The plaque was a gift from Earl Ortman, a friend of the couple. Ortman had won two second place races, so gifting one of the two to his close friends is plausible. The grown children of the couple took everything that they wanted from their parents' home, inviting the neighbors to take any of the remaining items before it was to be cleaned out. This plaque was taken by a neighbor from the remaining items in the garage and came into the possession of the most recent owners over 15 years ago.
VINTAGE: Circa 1936.
SIZE: Approximately 9-3/4" in width and 18" in height.
MATERIALS / CONSTRUCTION: Silver-plated bronze.
ATTACHMENT: Four flush mount threaded holes for mounting, and an optional cast-in loop for hanging.
MARKINGS: W.A. SINZ (Walter A. Sinz mark) on front; Gorham Co. Founders and QHNB on bottom edge.
ITEM NOTES: This is from a National Air Races collection which we will be listing more of over the next few months. ebay CON-CES-VAJX13 LAGIGEX8/13
CONDITION: 8+ (Excellent): Original silver plating is in excellent condition with no wear through to bronze.
GUARANTEE: As with all my items, this piece is guaranteed original.