Ballooning scene, late 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A snuff box from the Penn-Gaskell collection of 'ballooniana'. The painted lid shows Dr Jacques Charles (1746-1823) and one of the Robert brothers in a balloon over a woodland. Public balloon ascents began to be held in pleasure gardens after the first succesful balloon trips in Paris in 1783. These events attracted huge crowds and led to an explosion of 'ballooniana', or balloon art, expresed in paintings, prints and decorated ceramics as well as many other forms.