A selection of 'ballooniana' objects, late 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The objects, from the Penn-Gaskell collection, are: a model of a balloon which opens up to reveal four scent bottles, two teapots, two snuff boxes and an ornamental plate. 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.