An archive of memorabilia dedicated to a pioneer of British aviation will be sold at auction in Devizes this weekend.

The collection is expected to fetch more than £70,000 when it goes under the hammer at Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneers on Bath Road this Saturday.

The leading item is a solid silver Shell Motor Spirit Trophy, from 1912, by Mappin and Webb, which was awarded to US-born Samuel Franklin Cody to celebrate his work in aviation.

It is tipped to fetch up to £50,000 while the other items are expected to sell for another £20,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge paid tribute to Cody as a pioneer of the aviation industry.  

He said: “Cody was one of the pioneers of early flight. Most people have heard of the Wright Brothers, but Cody was every bit as important in the development of aviation.

“His work stimulated public interest in aviation and led to the formation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

“The archive is being sold via a direct descendant and bears tribute to one of the early 20th century’s greatest technical pioneers.”

Cody was the first person to pilot a powered and sustained flight in the UK.

He took off from Farnborough Common in Hampshire in October 1908 for a flight which lasted 30 seconds. Cody was killed five years later in a plane crash at the same site.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald:

His maiden flight took place six weeks after the Wright brothers flew for the first time in the US.

Cody came to England aged 23 in 1890 after working as a popular wild west show performer in Iowa.

He also developed aeroplanes with the backing of the War Office and became a British citizen by naturalisation in 1909.

In October 1908 he took to the skies in his British Army Aeroplane No 1, which he had designed and constructed. He reached about 18ft and flew for about 1,400ft.

It was the first official sustained and controlled flight of a powered machine in the UK.

He was in the air for 30 seconds and flew over a clump of trees before crash-landing after being hit by a gust of wind, damaging the machine.

In August 1913 he and his passenger, Hampshire cricketer William Evans, died when they fell out of their aircraft and plunged 300ft to the ground after it broke up during a test.