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Top right: a crudely framed and glazed watercolour of Mount Houlder, Elephant Island, dated 1916, is a memento of one of the most famous of polar expeditions. The artist, Able Seaman Walter E. How, was a crew member on Shackleton’s Endurance, which had been abandoned in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea earlier that year. Expedition members and crew made a perilous journey to the comparative safety of Elephant Island, where a camp was established using two upturned lifeboats as makeshift shelters – as seen in How’s picture. Shackleton and five others set off on May 20 to get help, travelling 800 miles in an open boat and then crossing the mountains of South Georgia to reach the whaling station there. That journey is justly recognised as an epic of exploration and endurance, but it was no picnic for How and the others on Elephant Island, who waited over three months for rescue, never knowing whether their leader and his team had succeeded or perished.The watercolour sold for £10,000 to Richard Sawyer.

Three other Antarctic lots were entered by descendants of Tryggve Gran, who was the sole Norwegian on Scott’s last expedition and served as a midshipman and ski expert for one shilling a week. A menu card from the 1911 midwinter dinner that the expedition held at Cape Evans, signed by Scott, Oates, Cherry-Garrard, Lashly, Wilson, Ponting and all 18 other participants, was sold for £9000.

Middle right: Pembroke College, Cambridge, is depicted in one of the 30 double-page or folding engraved plates that make up David Loggan’s Cantabrigia illustrata of c.1690. Bound in modern calf with a 1675 first of Loggan’s Oxonia illustrata [all plates being mounted on new guards], it saw a bid of £13,000.

Bottom right: one of 70 coloured litho plates in an oblong quarto album of c.1850. Mostly depicting costumes of Smyrna, where the compiler, B.Tatikian’s press was located, they sold at £11,000.