First Edition of Vanderbilt's Fifteen Thousand Miles Cruise With ARA; from the library of adventurer Steve Fossett with his bookplate
15,000 Miles Cruise With Ara.
Vanderbilt, William K.
Item Number: 95146
New York: Privately Printed, 1928.
First edition of Vanderbilt’s record of his 15,000 cruise aboard the Ara throughout the Mediterranean and Near East. Octavo, bound in full pebbled morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel, frontispiece engraving of the Ara at anchor, illustrated with photographs, folding map. From the Adventure and Exploration collection of James Stephen “Steve” Fossett with his bookplate to the pastedown of each volume. American businessman and record-setting aviator Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo nonstop around the world in 2002 in his 10-story high balloon Spirit of Freedom. He completed the 2002 trip in 13 days, 8 hours, and 33 minutes and set records for both the Longest Distance Flown Solo in a Balloon and Fastest Balloon Flight Around the World. Fossett was also one of sailing’s most prolific distance record holders set the Absolute World Speed Record for airships with a Zeppelin NT in 2004. He received numerous awards and honors throughout his career including aviation’s highest award, the Gold Medal of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which he was awarded in 2002. Fossett disappeared on September 3, 2007 while flying a light aircraft over the Great Basin Desert, between Nevada and California. In near fine condition. A sharp example with noted provenance.
A member of the prominent American Vanderbilt family, William "Willie" Kissam Vanderbilt II was a skilled sailor and yachtsman. Already extremely wealthy from a trust fund and from his income as president of the New York Central Railroad Company, on his father's death in 1920, "Willie" inherited a multimillion-dollar fortune. In 1925, he traded his luxury yacht Eagle for ownership of Fisher Island, Florida, a place he used as a winter residence. The present volume recounts Vanderbilt's eight-month voyage on the 231-foot diesel yacht Ara from New York to Marseille and then throughout the Mediterranean to Turkey and through the Dardanelles to the Black Sea between January 30th and September 30th, 1927.