The dates incised on the column reflect the 10th year anniversary of the formation of the Republic of Czechoslovakia on October 28, 1918, when a peaceful coup ended the rule of the Hapsburg monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire there. In Czech, the root word “letu” refers to airplane flight. One may speculate that this trophy was associated with an air event held as part of an anniversary celebration, and that the airplane and globe are a metaphor for the free republic taking flight in the world.
The Republic of Czechoslovakia continued until 1938, when the Czech lands were ceded to Nazi Germany and Slovakia became a Fascist state. During the power struggle after World War II, the country was reunited as Czechoslovakia under a Communist government, until the “velvet revolution” restoring democratic rule in 1989. The short-lived Czech and Slovak Federative Republic that followed eventually split into two independent countries in 1993 — the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual scattered wear.
Benes, Eduard. “The Coup d’Etat in Prague, October 28, 1918.” Documentary History of Eastern Europe. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1970. pp. 264-268. Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Paul Halsall, ed. August 1998. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1918benes1.html (3 March 2005).
“Timeline: Czechoslovakia. A chronology of key events.” BBC News: UK Edition. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/1844842.stm (3 March 2005).