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INCREDIBLE ERNEST SHACKLETON FINAL EXPEDITION RETURN PHOTOGRAPHS
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An important and incredibly rare unique personal archive of candid images documenting the return of Ernest Shackleton and his crews: The Weddell Sea Party and the Ross Sea Party after the failed 'Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914?17'. The collection, comprising of one photograph album, and several related loose images, documents Shackleton & his Party on their return journey to New Zealand, and then shortly after at a private party - likely a 'welcome back' party (also in New Zealand.) Many of the images are presumed to have been taken on board the ship ' Aurora ' shortly after returning to port in Wellington when Shackleton opened the ship to the public in Feb 1917. A letter which accompanies the collection (Written by a relative of the original photographer) reads, in part: '...Photographs are from the effects of the late Mrs Alice Enid Blomfield, whose Father... Hon. FMB Fisher, was Minister of Trade and Customs in the New Zealand Government...as children my mother and her sister met visiting explorers etc on their return from the South Pole. On this occasion, my mother told me, she had the only camera available, although she was only 12 years of age, and took the enclosed photographs herself.'  'FMB Fisher' relates to Francis Marion Bates Fisher who, as well as being a member of New Zealand's parliament was also a noted Edwardian Tennis Player - and had many 'celebrity' friends during this period.  The collection consists of the following images:  A small 5x8 cm photograph of ' Gunnar ' - one of the expedition dogs - shown aboard Aurora. Another 5x8cm photograph depicting ' Oscar ' which is annotated to reverse ' one of the two dogs that saved the mens lives ' and to the front 'one of Shackletons dogs' A 5x8cm photograph labelled to verso ' Gazelle - pet mascot ' depicting a young tethered Gazelle aboard the ship. A larger photograph measuring 8cm x 10.5cm, in album, depicting Shackleton and crew at a party held in the ' Harcourt's Garden '. Heavily annotated to the base of the photograph, Shackleton and his crew are shown grouped and posing for the photographer. The crew shown, all from the expedition party, comprise of: Alexander Stevens (Chief Scientist), John Cope (biologist), Joseph Stenhouse (First Officer aboard The Aurora ), Irvine Gaze (General Assistant), Ernest Joyce (Explorer - in charge of Sledging the dogs), Ernest Shackleton, Frank Wild (Shackleton's Second in Command), Keith Jack (Chemnist), Dick Richards (Physicist), and Frank Worsley (Captain of Endurance).  A slightly smaller printing of the same image ( 7.5cm x 10cm) annotated to margin ' Sir Ernest Shackleton and Party ' and then dated, somewhat illegibly, ' 1917 .' Also in the same album; a photograph taken of ' Sir Ernest Shackleton ', likely at the Garden Party, shows Shackleton in hat and jacket, standing alone outside. Measures approx 10.5cm x 8cm. A 10.5cm x 8cm photograph showing Irvine Gaze , likely at the same garden party as the aforementioned. Standing, posing for the photographer.  A loose photograph 10.5cm x 7.5cm depicting Ernest Joyce aboard Aurora with one of the dogs and her litter of puppies - which were rather famously reported as later being put up for auction in Wellington as 'souvenirs' of the expedition. Joyce sits alongside the dog whilst looking towards the camera. A rather charming image, seeing as the dog somewhat had saved his life.  The photograph album included within this lot is also rather interesting. Belonging to the young lady who photographed Shackleton, the album shows pre-WWI First World War scenes of New Zealand Naval ships, crews and officers. Also photographed are the ships: HMS Philomel , HMAS Encounter , HMS Torch , various on-board views of HMS Philomel (including several of her crew and officers ), various Garden Parties and similar events (usually involving high-ranking military personnel), Japanese Officers, and various other related images - themselves - fascinating. A rare and interesting insight into the lives of the New Zealand owner. Supplied with the photographs and album are some original gelatin negatives - some of those being of the Shackleton images, others for related images within the album. Accompanying the collection is a 1923 reprint edition of ' South ' ' The Story Of Shackleton's 1914-17 Expedition ' by Ernest Shackleton. Neatly inscribed to the inner frontis '  Raymond S Shackleton - for my Father, Ernest Shackleton ' and is dated 8.1.39. Presumably given to the family many years later by Shackleton's son.  An incredible and important collection.  About the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914?17: Shackleton published details of his new expedition, grandly titled the "Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition", early in 1914. Two ships would be employed; Endurance would carry the main party into the Weddell Sea, aiming for Vahsel Bay from where a team of six, led by Shackleton, would begin the crossing of the continent. Meanwhile, a second ship, the Aurora, would take a supporting party under Captain Aeneas Mackintosh to McMurdo Sound on the opposite side of the continent. While Shackleton led the expedition, Captain F. Worsley commanded the Endurance and Lieutenant J. Stenhouse the Aurora. Endurance departed from South Georgia for the Weddell Sea on 5 December, heading for Vahsel Bay. As the ship moved southward navigating in ice, first year ice was encountered, which slowed progress. Deep in the Weddell Sea, conditions gradually grew worse until, on 19 January 1915, Endurance became frozen fast in an ice floe. On 24 February, realising that she would be trapped until the following spring, Shackleton ordered the abandonment of ship's routine and her conversion to a winter station. She drifted slowly northward with the ice through the following months. For almost two months, Shackleton and his party camped on a large, flat floe, hoping that it would drift towards Paulet Island, approximately 250 miles away, where it was known that stores were cached. After failed attempts to march across the ice to this island, Shackleton decided to set up another more permanent camp (Patience Camp) on another floe, and trust to the drift of the ice to take them towards a safe landing. By 17 March, their ice camp was within 60 miles of Paulet Island but, separated by impassable ice, they were unable to reach it. On 9 April, their ice floe broke into two, and Shackleton ordered the crew into the lifeboats, to head for the nearest land. After five harrowing days at sea, the exhausted men landed their three lifeboats at Elephant Island, 346 miles from where the Endurance sank. This was the first time they had stood on solid ground for 497 days. Shackleton's concern for his men was such that he gave his mittens to photographer Frank Hurley, who had lost his during the boat journey. Shackleton suffered frostbitten fingers as a result. Elephant Island was an inhospitable place, far from any shipping routes; rescue upon chance discovery was very unlikely. Consequently, Shackleton decided to risk an open-boat journey to the 720-nautical-mile-distant South Georgia whaling stations, where he knew help was available. The strongest of the tiny 20-foot lifeboats, christened James Caird after the expedition's chief sponsor, was chosen for the trip. Ship's carpenter Harry McNish made various improvements, including raising the sides, strengthening the keel, building a makeshift deck of wood and canvas, and sealing the work with oil paint and seal blood. Shackleton chose five companions for the journey: Frank Worsley, Endurance's captain, who would be responsible for navigation; Tom Crean, who had "begged to go"; two strong sailors in John Vincent and Timothy McCarthy, and finally the carpenter McNish. Shackleton had clashed with McNish during the time when the party was stranded on the ice, but, while he did not forgive the carpenter's earlier insubordination, Shackleton recognised his value for this particular job. The James Caird was launched on 24 April 1916; during the next fifteen days, it sailed through the waters of the southern ocean, at the mercy of the stormy seas, in constant peril of capsizing. On 8 May, thanks to Worsley's navigational skills, the cliffs of South Georgia came into sight, but hurricane-force winds prevented the possibility of landing. The party was forced to ride out the storm offshore, in constant danger of being dashed against the rocks. They later learned that the same hurricane had sunk a 500-ton steamer bound for South Georgia from Buenos Aires. On the following day, they were able, finally, to land on the unoccupied southern shore. After a period of rest and recuperation, rather than risk putting to sea again to reach the whaling stations on the northern coast, Shackleton decided to attempt a land crossing of the island. Although it is likely that Norwegian whalers had previously crossed at other points on ski, no one had attempted this particular route before. For their journey, the survivors were only equipped with boots they had pushed screws into to act as climbing boots, a carpenter's adze, and 50 feet of rope. Leaving McNish, Vincent and McCarthy at the landing point on South Georgia, Shackleton travelled 32 miles with Worsley and Crean over extremely dangerous mountainous terrain for 36 hours to reach the whaling station at Stromness on 20 May. Shackleton immediately sent a boat to pick up the three men from the other side of South Georgia while he set to work to organise the rescue of the Elephant Island men. His first three attempts were foiled by sea ice, which blocked the approaches to the island. He appealed to the Chilean government, which offered the use of Yelcho, a small seagoing tug from its navy. Yelcho, commanded by Captain Luis Pardo, and the British whaler SS Southern Sky reached Elephant Island on 30 August 1916, at which point the men had been isolated there for four and a half months, and Shackleton quickly evacuated all 22 men. The Yelcho took the crew first to Punta Arenas and after some days to Valparaiso in Chile where crowds warmly welcomed them back to civilisation. There remained the men of the Ross Sea Party, who were stranded at Cape Evans in McMurdo Sound, after Aurora had been blown from its anchorage and driven out to sea, unable to return. The ship, after a drift of many months, had returned to New Zealand. Shackleton travelled there to join Aurora, and sailed with her to the rescue of the Ross Sea party. This group, despite many hardships, had carried out its depot-laying mission to the full, but three lives had been lost, including that of its commander, Aeneas Mackintosh. Note: from the large Fisher / Blomfield family archive consigned to this sale. The collection comprises of items from Francis ' FMB ' Marion Bates Fisher (a famous Edwardian Tennis Player ) and features items from the lives of his entire family (most notably that of his eldest daughter Esther Fisher who went on to become an international pianist, his other daughter was Lady Esther Frances Barron and his youngest daughter Alice Blomfield (nee Fisher) whose husband - Siegfried Blomfield - was a noted soldier during WWII and whose daughter (Juliet Blomfield) went on to become a ballet dancer). The family owned many properties both in the UK and New Zealand, and were extremely well travelled. Their friends and acquaintances were some of the most notable characters of our time - Ernest Shackleton , Winston Churchill , Maxine Elliott , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , John Singer Sargent but to name a few. An incredible collection, of great social interest.
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*Vänligen notera att att priset inte är omräknat till dagens värde, utan avser slutpriset vid tidpunkten när föremålet såldes.


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