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Fly away in a piece of Hollywood and aviation history while helping Rhinos

It’s a title we never thought we’d write, but that’s the surprise of RM Sotheby’s auctions. Landing at their Miami sale on March 1st is this incredible 1929 De Havilland DH60GM Gipsy Moth, which starred in the movie "Out of Africa".

While we can safely say we know our way around a classic Italian grand tourer, or recognise the production year of a British-born racer just by the slope of its windscreen, when it comes to aeroplanes, we’re not quite as clued up. There is one plane our entire office shared a fondness for though, the De Havilland Gipsy Moth. Little did we know this one would make an appearance in RM Sotheby’s upcoming auction in Miami on March 1st, and boy is it a special one.

It’s a true pioneer from aviation’s cradle era, occupying the same space in its category as the Model T Ford in motorcars, boasting dependability, fine engineering and more than reliable when a task is presented to it. Like the Model T, the De Havilland Gipsy Moth also brought a mode of transportation to more people than any other before it. Over the years, hundreds were built and flown, including the noted British aviatrix Amy Johnson, who in 1930 became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in her Gipsy Moth, affectionately named “Jason.”

Just like Johnson’s ‘Jason’, this example has an extremely unique story to tell, being one of the first American Moths to be brought to the United Kingdom, where it flew for a time while still on its American registration. That registration was “N585M”, but when it was eventually registered in the United Kingdom, a clear nod and honour to Amy Johnson was mad, its new name being “G-AAMY.”

After its role in the movie ‘Out of Africa’, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in an epic love story about the Danish countess Karen Blixen and British aviator Denys Finch-Hatton, G-AAMY is now being sold at RM Sotheby’s auction. The key here is the sale is not for profit, but to raise awareness and funds for the creation of a vast new rhino sanctuary in Central Kenya, returning critically endangered rhinos to the Segera Conservancy as part of the Zeitz Foundation’s effort to create one of the largest sanctuaries in the world. 

100 percent of the hammer price will go towards the formation of the sanctuary, making this vintage aircraft even more significant than its role in Hollywood. If, like us, you think the Gipsy Moth symbolises 1920s pioneering at its best, this is a must for your collection, and one that can still be enjoyed up in the skies.