Collier Trophy Stolen from Mayflower

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The Collier Trophy, aviation's most coveted award, normally on display at the National Air and Space Museum, disappears from the National Aviation Club's lounge in the basement of the Mayflower Hotel. The trophy was being stored over the weekend at the hotel following the annual Collier award dinner. The trophy, a work by sculptor Ernest Wise Keyser, has been presented annually since 1911. Although no current value is known, in 1951, the trophy was valued at $100,000. Police reported no clues as to how the heavy trophy was removed from the locked clubroom. [The trophy was eventually recovered.]


  • Keyser, Ernest Wise
  • Mayflower Hotel (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • National Aviation Club


Chronology of Smithsonian History


"Collier Trophy For Aviation Stolen at Hotel," Washington Post, 31 May 1978.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


May, 1978


  • Collier Trophy
  • Art
  • Awards
  • Sculpture
  • Theft
  • Art objects

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