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A collection once belonging to a member of The British Arctic Expedition of 1875-76 is to be offered at Forum Auction’s Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper sale at The Westbury Hotel in Mayfair on September 26.

The venture began in May 1875 under the leadership of Captain Sir George Nares. Although the expedition failed to reach the intended target of the North Pole, the mission did reach the most northerly point in the Canadian arctic to date and charted nearly 400km of unknown coastline. A young naval officer, Reginald Baldwin Fulford was part of the team and now many of his personal items, having been passed down by descent, have been consigned for sale.

Among the eight lots are a photo album, snow glasses and coffee and tea cups from the voyage. But the item with the highest estimate is the original sledge flag used by Fulford on his exploratory missions. The 3ft 3in (1m) long blue silk swallowtail flag carries the rather apt embroidered legend Bear up.

In Nares’ own account of his expedition, published in 1878, he writes: “On the 15th [July 1876] Lieutenant Fulford crossed Hall’s Basin from Polaris to Discovery Bay and found the ice stationary until he arrived within two miles of the west shore; there he came to broken-up ice in motion, across which he had difficulty in reaching the shore with his sledge crew.”

It carries an estimate of £4000-6000.

forumauctions.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com


Journals detailing the life of a Victorian sailor are to be auctioned at Gardiner Houlgate in Corsham, Wiltshire, on September 26. Covering 1889-93, the three handwritten journals of Royal Navy Seaman Frederick Allen provide a day-by-day account of the Mediterranean voyage of HMS Australia, an armoured cruiser assigned to the navy’s Mediterranean fleet. The content includes capsizings, drownings, military engagements, seasickness, a man having his leg ripped off by a coiled rope, several stabbings and the alleged murder of one of Allen’s fellow crew members.

The journals and other contents of Seaman Allen’s ‘ditty box’ – found by its vendor in a flea market – are estimated at £3000-5000.

gardinerhoulgate.co.uk or see this item on thesaleroom.com


This Georgian sandstone panel is carved with an image of Izaac Walton, the 17th century author of The Compleat Angler. By repute it came from a public house sited close to the palace of the bishop of Winchester where Walton, a staunch Royalist, lived following the Restoration in 1660.

At an impressive 170cm high by 98cm wide (67 x 38.5in), it is expected to sell for £4000-6000 at Summers Place Auctions on October 1.

summersplaceauctions.com or see this item on thesaleroom.com