"In Our Nature to Explore": Discovering the Polar Expeditions.

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Launch Slideshow

This collection of texts, photographs, illustrations and objects provides a fascinating and moving insight into the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, particularly the Discovery and the ill-fated Terra Nova expeditions led by Robert Falcon Scott. It includes zoological drawings, sea shanties, and even cutlery used on the expedition, giving an unparalleled glimpse into the experiences of some of the first men to reach the South Pole. Books & Manuscripts specialist Cecilie Gasseholm gives us some of the background to these compelling objects.

Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

"In Our Nature to Explore": Discovering the Polar Expeditions.

  • John Richardson and John Edward Gray. The Zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Erebus & Terror, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross… during the years 1839–1843. London, 1844–1875.
    Estimate: £25,000–35,000.
    Rare zoological reports from one of the earliest major Antarctic Expeditions. James Clark Ross was appointed commander of an expedition fitted out for magnetic and geographical discovery in the Antarctic, aboard the Erebus and Terror, which sailed from England in September 1839. The expedition was able to determine the South Magnetic Pole, and penetrated as far south as 78° South, seven degrees farther than Cook and four degrees farther than Weddell, and provided the first detailed look at the coast of the Antarctic continent. The present volumes represent a portion of the scientific findings gleaned from this expedition dealing with marine life. Because the entire work was produced over a thirty-year period by a variety of hands, complete sets are almost impossible to find.



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • Robert Falcon Scott, British "Discovery" expedition, 1901-04. Exhibition catalogue. [London, 1904].
    Estimate: £800–1,200.
    Rare exhibition catalogue of photographs by Reginald Skelton and art by Edward Adrian Wilson. With a rare flyer loosely inserted: "Preliminary list. Capt. Scott's lecture tour" (Mon Nov. 7 to Dec. 16 [1904]).



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • British "Terra Nova" Expedition, 1910-13. Two photographs.
    Estimate: £800-1,200.
    Two silver prints showing Scott's party at the South Pole, 18 January 1912, and a portrait of Scott. The photographs are from ill-fated “Terra Nova” expedition where Scott and his team perished after reaching the South Pole, just 34 days after Roald Amundsen. 



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • British "Terra Nova" Expedition, 1910-13. Electroplated silver spoon and fork by Walker & Hall.
    Estimate: £400–600.
    A fork and spoon made especially for the team of the “Terra Nova” expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole.



     



    The handles are engraved with the expedition logo "British Antarctic Expedition Terra Nova R.Y.S.". Sadly Scott and his team perished after reaching the South Pole, just 34 days after Roald Amundsen.



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • Ernest Shackleton, The Heart of the Antarctic. Being the story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 [and The Antarctic Book]. London, 1909.
    Estimate: £10,000–15,000.
    An account of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909, or “Nimrod” Expedition. The shore party included 15 men, such as Shackleton, Professor T.W. Edgeworth David and Douglas Mawson. They journeyed to the south magnetic pole on a sledge. Furthermore the made the ascent and survey of Mount Erebus (12,448 feet), the active volcano on Ross Island and reached within 100 miles of the south pole. The Antarctic Book is signed by the 15 members of the shore party and Aeneas Mackintosh.



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • Ernest Shackleton, The Heart of the Antarctic. Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909. London, 1910.
    Estimate: £500–700.
    Unusual presentation copy inscribed twice. Once on front free endpaper to: "The Boss of the shelter at Hyde Park Corner from E.H. Shackleton" and on frontispiece: "Yours sincerely, Ernest Shackleton". With a copy of (and a clipping from) the Evening Standard, London, Tuesday, 8 December, 1987. An article on p.25 states: "Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer, was such a popular member of his local shelter on Hyde Park Corner that the cabbies there clubbed together to buy him a set of pipes, a pipe-rack and tobacco to take on his last voyage. He never returned, but his thank you letter hung on wall for years. Nobody knows what happened to it when the shelter was demolished to make way for the Piccadilly underpass".



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • Shanties collected by George Marston. [c.1920].
    Estimate: £800–1,200.
    A rare, possibly unique, proof copy containing 11 sea shanties with music, compiled by Marston whilst a teacher at Bedales school, Petersfield (1918-22). In Marston and Murray's Antarctic Days (1913), a whole chapter is devoted to "Chanties", including 14 favourites sung on Shackleton's “Nimrod” expedition (1907-09).



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • Ernest Shackleton, The South Polar Times. London, 1907-1914 and Cambridge, 2010.
    Estimate: £15,000–25,000.
    A facsimile of original issues of the South Polar Times printed in the Antarctic. This is a very important presentation copy inscribed by Shackleton to the printer Joesph Causton, who provided training, the complete printing outfit and the necessary paper for the production of the "Aurora Australis" (produced during the “Nimrod” Expedition).



      



    Scott gave the following remark in a description of the originals: "Once or twice lately we have discussed the possibility of these volumes being interesting to a larger public, though there was no such idea in anyone's mind at the start... On the one hand, we have some reading matter and many delightful sketches that would be appreciated all; on the other, it has to be remembered that the humour and many of the references are local and would convey little or nothing to the uninformed reader, however much they may appeal to us "who are in the know."" (Rosove).



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • Ernest Mills Joyce, The South Polar Trail… The log of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. London, 1929.
    Estimate: £800–1,200.
    The present work is Joyce’s log from the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917, as a member of the Ross Sea party whose mission was to lay supply depots for Shackleton’s group as they traversed the continent. Famously, Shackleton’s Endurance was crushed in pack ice before it could land and the depots were never used. Three members of the Ross Sea party died during the expedition, but their story is often overshadowed by Shackleton’s exploits.



     



    Inscribed to Aeneas 'Mack' Mackintosh, together with an adapted poem derived from Robert W. Service's The Quitter. Mackintosh was commander of the Ross Sea party.  



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London

  • Frank Wild, Shackleton's Last Voyage: The Story of the "Quest". London, New York, Toronto, and Melbourne,1923.
    Estimate: £1,000–1,500.
    "The lure of Antarctica was too strong for Shackleton to resist, so he started his fourth and final trip in the ill-suited Quest in 1921, with (as always) wildly ambitious objectives. However, when Shackleton died suddenly in South Georgia, Wild took charge of what remained, resulting in this handsome publication reproducing the last photographs of Shackleton to have been taken” (Taurus).



     



    Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History
    14 November 2017 | 11:00am GMT | London



     

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