SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
MANY ITEMS OF ANTARCTIC INTEREST REACH OR BETTER THEIR RESERVE PRICE
The London auctioneers Christie's again staged a Polar Sale in September 2010. Many items with connections to Scott or Shackleton were included.
Of especial interest to Shackleton enthusiasts were the following:
Emily Shackleton's scrapbook, signed and inscribed, which was sold as part of the Shackleton Collection at Christie's in 2001, and sold here for £6,250 (estimate £6-8,000).
Christie's full listing read as follows: "Emily Shackleton's scrapbook, signed and inscribed 'Emily M. Shackleton 11 Vicarage Gate W' on front free endpaper, including two watercolours by George Marston ('Nimrod in the Antarctic' and 'Antarctic coastal landscape') both signed 'Geo Marston'; with two pages from S.Y. Nimrod's visitor's book, one dated 'Cowes August 4th 1907', with signatures of the King and Queen and others, the other dated '4 August 1907', with thirteen miscellaneous signatures.
One page inscribed by Emily 'S.Y. Endurance West India Docks July 16th 1914' and signed by the Dowager Queen Alexandra and her sister Maria Feodorovna and the Princess Victoria, one page inscribed by Emily 'S.Y. Endurance leaving West India Dock 1st August 1914' and signed by Worsley, Jeffrey, Hudson, Rickinson and Cheetham, one page signed and inscribed 'A. de Gerlache de Gomery designer of the Endurance wishing her all possible luck and succes (sic) I-VII-14' and one page inscribed by Emily 'S.Y. Endurance leaving West India Dock. August 1st 1914' and signed by Shackleton, Wild, Marston, Lees, Ernest Wild, Crean, Fritz Dobbs, Hussey and Aeneas Mackintosh.
With nine loose photographs, including seven of the Dowager Queen Alexandra's inspection of S.Y. Endurance, 16 July 1914, and a photograph of two pages of the Bible given by Queen Alexandra to Shackleton and the officers of the Endurance, 31 July, 1914; the album bound in the original blue crushed morocco gilt, by A. Webster & Co."
Some Hurley photographs realised £2,500 (estimate was £800-1,200). The full entry was: "A collection of photographs of the Endurance and the Antarctic by Frank Hurley (1885-1962) from the collection of Sir Philip Lee Brocklehurst, Shackleton's friend and geological assistant on the British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909."
The photographs, all inkstamped on the versos 'NEWSPAPER ILLUSTRATIONS LIMITED', appear to date from December 1916, shortly after Hurley's return to London on 11 November 1916, and one bears a stamp embargoing publication until 18 December 1916."
A painting by George Marston: New Coastline West of Cape North, taken from the Nimrod on 8 March 1909; watercolour on paper, 8½ x 21¼in. (21.6 x 53.9cm.) achieved £3,500 (estimate £3-4,000). Shackleton wrote of this in The Heart of the Antarctic, p.229: 'I wanted to push between the Balleny Islands and the mainland, and make an attempt to follow the coastline from Cape North westward, so as to link it up with Adelie Land. No ship had ever succeeded in penetrating to the westward of Cape North... On the morning of March 8 we saw, beyond Cape North, a new coast-line extending first to the southwards and then to the west for a distance of over forty miles. We took angles and bearings, and Marston sketched the main outlines. We were too far away to take any photographs that would have been of value, but the sketches show very clearly the type of land.'
Another Marston painting, Sledging camp in a blizzard, oil on venesta board, 10 x 12½cm. (25.4 x 31.7cm.) and stencilled 'BRITISH ANTARCTI[C]/EXPEDITION 1907' on the reverse. The painting shows a blizzard on Mt. Erebus: it was painted by Marston at Cape Royds in 1908 on a piece of one of the Nimrod expedition's packing cases. Marston (1882-1940) was in the party of six led by Jameson Adams which made the first ascent of Mt Erebus in March 1908.
Eric Stewart Marshall's High Speed camera no. HS1750 by Newman and Guardia, London quarter-plate, black-leather covered body, metal-fittings, focusing screen and magazine back, with a Carl Zeiss, Jena Planar f/3.8 130mm. lens no. 65608 set into a pneumatic shutter, in maker's fitted leather case; spare Newman and Guardia magazine back.
Shackleton recorded that the Nimrod expedition's southern party took 'One camera and three dozen plates (quarter-plate by Newman and Guardia)' amongst the scientific equipment on their four sledges. MARSHALL'S PRESENT NEWMAN AND GUARDIA CAMERA, EXCLUSIVELY FOR QUARTER-PLATES, IS IN ALL LIKELIHOOD THE CAMERA TAKEN ON THE SOUTHERN JOURNEY IN 1908-09.
Christie's full notes explain: "The Newman & Guardia High Speed camera was introduced in 1899 and was listed up to 1911. 'Shackleton had purchased nine still cameras of varying types -- including a stereoscopic model and one with a 'telephotographic apparatus' -- as well as a cinematographic camera. A number of the men also brought their own cameras, and at least nine of them took photographs using no fewer than fifteen cameras. Eric Stewart Marshall (1879-1963), who was in charge of the cinematograph, later estimated that 4,000 feet of film were shot. Despite the introduction of roll-film cameras, a high proportion of serious photographers still used bulky, dry-plate cameras, and there were several of those on the expedition. There were also smaller, portable, roll-film cameras."
'Regardless of what camera was used, photography was not an easy process in Antarctica's freezing temperatures and long periods of darkness. Marshall found that when the temperature dropped to thirty degrees below freezing, cameras stopped functioning because the oil had frozen. He therefore made a point of removing the oil from all of them. The temperature similarly affected other stages of the process. Most of the developing and printing was carried out by Brocklehurst or Mawson, both of whom found glass plates easier to work with because film became brittle in extreme cold.' (B. Riffenburgh, p.184).
An address of welcome to 'Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton C.V.O., Commander of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907' from the Inhabitants of the Urban District of Ilford, Essex, 10 March 1910, signed by the Council's Chairman, H.M. Thornton, two leaves set in card mounts, 4to (300 x 268mm), illuminated manuscript on paper by Shaw & Sons, London, the address written in a calligraphic hand within foliate border in gold and watercolours, with red papered seal (faint spotting to card endleaves). Green leather gilt (slight wear to extemities). Provenance: Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922); and thence by descent.
£750 was fetched (estimate £800-1,200)by this decorative address card in which the inhabitants of Ilford, Essex honour Shackleton's services to the British Nation, his 'brilliant achievement of penetrating to within 100 miles of the South Pole and planting the British Flag in that unexplored region'. It expresses appreciation of his 'stedfastness of purpose, that capacity of surmounting almost impassable barriers, and that utter disregard of personal discomfort which we are proud to think is an attribute of the Englishman'.
Douglas Mawson's specimen box, signed with initials, inscribed and dated 'Specimens from New Zealand 1928 D.M.' on a label and numbered(?) '07' on the front wood and metal, 17¾ x 18 x 5 5/8in. (45 x 45.6 x 14.3cm.) - one of 47 wooden specimen boxes made for Mawson, the expedition geologist on Shackleton's Nimrod expedition, easily exceeded its estimate (£4-600), fetching £2,000. It was given by Mawson to the Tate Museum, Geology Department, University of Adelaide, in 1928.
The South Polar Times. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1907-1914. edited by ERNEST HENRY SHACKLETON (1874-1922), LOUIS C. BERNACCHI (1876-1940), AND APSLEY GEORGE BENET CHERRY-GARRARD (1886-1959).
A COMPLETE SET OF THIS CORNERSTONE TO ANY COLLECTION OF PRINTED WORKS ON ANTARCTIC EXPLORATION. 3 volumes, 4° (275 x 210mm).
Half-titles. Titles in red and black (vols. I-II), text and title in red and blue (vol. III), plates and illustrations, some chromolithographic, after Herbert Ponting, Edward Wilson and others. (Gutta percha of bindings perished and consequently text-block cracked at part III in vol. I, with 32 leaves loose, 3 leaves loose in vol. II.) Original blue ribbed cloth, spines lettered in gilt, the upper covers with gilt lettering and rope-work surrounding centrally-placed inset pictorial cloth panels, gilt edges (extremities lightly rubbed).
Volumes I and II are both from the limited edition of 250 copies, these copies numbered 128. Volume III is from an edition limited to 350 copies, this copy numbered 45. Volumes I and II are an exact reproduction of the original which appeared month by month during the winters of 1902 and 1903, edited by Sir Ernest Shackleton and Louis Bernacchi, with articles, stories, poems and drawings supplied by various members of the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901-1904. Volume III is a facsimile of the 'magazine', edited by Cherry-Garrard, and produced during the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1913.
THE HEART OF THE ANTARCTIC by ERNEST HENRY SHACKLETON (1847-1922). Being the story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-9. London: William Heinemann, 1909. FIRST EDITION, NUMBER 4 OF 300 Copies SIGNED BY ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE SHORE PARTY.
2 Volumes (without the supplement The Antarctic Book Winter Quarters 1907-9, 4° (269 X 225MM). Half-titles, titles (to vols I and II) in brown and black. Plates (4 double-page, 6 etched plates by George Marston, 18 mounted including 16 coloured after George Marston. One folding panorama and three folding lithographic , maps in separate cloth portfolio illustrations, (The maps in portfolio with very short splits at folds, but without loss.) Original vellum, spines and upper covers lettered in gilt, top edges gilt, others uncut (vellum very lightly soiled, covers a fraction warped, cloth portfolio spotted). Provenance: Raymond E. Priestley.
Sir Raymond Edward Priestley (1886-1974), geologist to the Nimrod expedition, later joined Scott's Terra Nova expedition, where Wright was the physicist and glaciologist. Priestley later married Wright's sister, and was co-founder of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.