Tuesday, April 24, 2012

BOAC: Addis Ababa to London, January 1973

The holder of this envelope can almost hear the roar of BOAC's super VC-10s quad engines as the airliner touches down for the first time at Bole Airport in early January1973. The gorgeous illustration, set at a dynamic perspective, dominates this stately and information-backed first flight cover.

BOAC's classic, dashing speed bird emblem appears several times, most notably at the header of the paragraph-long Official Flight Endorsement which provides exacting detail on the itinerary of this piece of paper from Heathrow to Addis Ababa and back, although it is elsewhere, at far right, that the intermediate stops: Nicosia and Cairo, the latter categorized, curiously, as "unscheduled."

More space, if not heavier ink, is given over to the regal Lion of Judah, symbol of the Ethiopian monarch and not dissimilar from Queen Elizabeth's heraldic menagerie.

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