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  • Posts Tagged ‘Sir Ernest Shackleton’


    Wednesday, February 19th, 2020

    Rare images from Sir Ernest Shackleton’s doomed Antartic Expedition come up at Bonhams Travel and Exploration sale in London on February 26. The Antarctic explorer, born in Kilkea Co. Kildare, led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. His Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917 is remembered for one of the great feats of human daring and valour. Attempting to sail across the Weddell Sea, the expedition ship Endurance became trapped in pack ice, eventually disintegrating in October 1915. The dramatic escape of the crew is the stuff of legend. The expedition’s official photographer, Australian Frank Hurley, captured life on board the stricken vessel and the ship’s final hours.  A newly discovered presentation album of Hurley’s Photographs of Scenes and Incidents in Connection with the Happenings to the Weddell Sea Party  consigned by a private owner in the UK is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

    Frank Hurley joined the Shackleton expedition as the official photographer in 1914, having gained experience with Douglas Mawson’s 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The decision to abandon Endurance presented Hurley with an unenviable task. With a long march ahead into an uncertain future, weight was at a premium and he was forced to destroy 400 plates to lessen the load.

    Bonhams Head of Books, Manuscripts and Photographs, Matthew Haley said: “The fate of Endurance and the crew’s astonishing and tortuous journey back against all the odds is rightly seen as a testament to the human spirit under extreme pressure.  Hurley’s images convey the terrible situation in which the men found themselves, and have come to define  the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration as it drew to a close.” 


    Frank Hurley – Endurance in her death throes


    Sunday, February 9th, 2020

    The UK’s Arts Minister Helen Whately has stopped the export from Britain of a sledge and flag taken on Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1907 – 1909 British Antarctic Expedition. The two, valued at £227,500 plus £8,750 VAT, had been sold to an overseas buyer. Now a UK buyer needs to be found and a decision on the export licence has been deferred to May 6.The Nimrod expedition was led by Shackleton, who headed three expeditions to the Antarctic in the early twentieth century. This one set out in a failed attempt to be first to reach the South Pole. The sledge and the flag were hauled, first by pony and then by the men, to within 97.5 miles of their objective before famously turning back to Discovery Point in 1909. They belonged to Dr Eric Marshall (1879 – 1963), surgeon, polar explorer and one of the group chosen to accompany Shackleton.

    Sir Ernest Shackleton’s (1874-1922) first experience of Polar expeditions was as third officer on Captain Scott’s Discovery expedition of 1901-04.

    The Flag from the Nimrod Expedition.