The first book to be published in the Antarctic, a copy of Ernest Shackleton’s ‘Aurora Australis’ is estimated at $70,000-100,000 at Bonhams New York.

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What the auctioneers describe as “the jewel in the crown of the collection” is Ernest Shackleton’s Aurora Australis – the first book to be published in the Antarctic.

The 94-leaf book was produced during Shackleton’s 1908-9 Nimrod Expedition to the Antarctic and is one of around 80 recorded copies created in part as a way of keeping the expedition members occupied during the winter months.

Printing and publishing were co-ordinated by Ernest Joyce and Frank Wild, George Marston provided illustrations and Bernard Day made the bindings from the wooden crates used for provisions. The estimate is $70,000-100,000.

This is one of two examples of Aurora Australis going under the hammer in US auctions within the space of a few weeks. On October 31 another version will feature in Leslie Hindman’s Chicago sale of the first part of the adventure and exploration library of Steve Fossett, the record-setting adventurer. Hindman’s version has an estimate of $60,000-80,000.