The Earl of Rosebery and his Bentley Sky Phantom

The photographic image above shows Archibald Philip-Primrose Rosebery, the flamboyant 5th Earl of Rosebery, at the controls of his beloved Bentley Sky Phantom.

Rosebery was one of the most famous society figures of his day; a succesful racehorse owner and author of political biographies, even enjoying a brief spell as Prime Minister from 1894-95.

Retiring from the Government citing boredom, he was to go on to succesfully woo the richest heiress in the Empire. This astute match, coupled with one of his horses winning the Derby, was to enable Rosebery to indulge his long-held fascination with aeronautics. He slowly built up one of the finest collections of vintage flying machines in the Empire, the envy of many a museum curator.

His pride and joy was the Bentley Sky Phantom, saved from scrap in 1901 and painstakingly-restored by his own hand, becoming the last airworthy Phantom in existence.
More images of the Bentley Sky Phantom, many of them in colour, may be viewed here.