The map and eight plates depict events in the progress of a West-East expedition from the Bering Strait to the Davis Strait in 1850-53.
McClure, who had previously served as First Lieutenant under James Clark Ross on the Enterprise on one of the many searches organised when Sir John Franklin’s Northwest Passage expedition disappeared, was the man who finally found that long sought-after route – though the Investigator itself, crushed by ice, had to be abandoned. McClure and the crew escaped and were rescued. The wreck of the Investigator was located by Canadian archaeologists in 2010.
A copy of Gurney Cresswell’s work offered by Fonsie Mealy on December 13, in the original, rebacked red cloth binding and with all leaves and the chromolitho plates mounted on linen, was rated by the saleroom as an extremely fine example with clean plates. This is important for a work in which the plates are often found with some foxing. It edged past the high estimate to sell at €24,000 (£20,160).
Only one copy has made more, the example bound in half calf that sold for £25,000 as part of the Brooke-Hitching library at Sotheby’s in 2014.