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  • Ernest Shackleton's Aurora Australis to make $107,000?
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AuroraAustralisErnestShackleton's

Ernest Shackleton's Aurora Australis to make $107,000?

A rare copy of Aurora Australis, the book produced by Ernest Shackleton and his crew in Antarctica, is to auction at Sotheby's.

The book is valued at £50,000-70,000 ($76,526-107,137) ahead of the September 30 sale.

Shackleton Australis Sothebys
Aurora Australis was presented to various friends and financiers of the expedition

Shackleton arrived in Antarctica on the Nimrod in 1907 and returned to the UK in 1909.

Around 100 copies of the book were produced during the winter of 1908, which the crew spent at Cape Royds on Ross Island.

Each copy is bound in the wood from packing crates and filled with stories, poems and illustrations. It was produced on a basic printing press in an attempt to distract the crew from what Shackleton described as "the spectre of Polar ennui".

Following the successful return of the expedition, copies of the book were presented to friends and financiers.

Very few have ever been offered on the market.

In 2007, one specimen sold for £43,200 ($72,578) at Bonhams London.

Richard Fattorini of Sotheby's told the Daily Mail: "Aurora Australis is one of the great rarities of polar exploration.

"It is incredibly historic - it was the first book ever published on the Antarctic continent.

"This copy of Aurora Australis is in perfect condition and looks just as it would have done the day Shackleton saw it come off the press. It is the finest copy I have ever seen."

In a later expedition to the South Pole, in 1914, Shackleton was forced to journey hundreds of miles in a small boat to seek help for his stranded crew.

We have this handwritten letter from Shackleton to his wife for sale.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • AuroraAustralisErnestShackleton's