Lot 74: 1914 Antarctic Explorer ERNEST H. SHACKLETON Autograph Signed Check Rarity
Historic Autographs, Civil War Encased Postage Stamps, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federal Era, Coins, Currency, Medals
December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1914 Antarctic Explorer Ernest Shackleton Signed Check as Commander of The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition
ERNEST H. SHACKLETON (1874-1922). Historic Famous Polar and Antarctic Explorer.
July 1, 1914-Dated, Partially-Printed Document, Check Signed, "E.H. Shackleton" as Commander of The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1 page, 8" x 4.5", Choice Crisp Extremely Fine. Being a personal check, filled out in another hand but signed by Shackleton as Commander and countersigned by Frank W. White as Secretary. Payable in the amount of 10 to The Yost Typewriter Co. Ltd. In extremely fine condition with a red ink cancellation mark partially over the signature, along with another stamped cancellation. Shackleton's autograph remains crisp, dark and legible. A wonderful example for display.
Shackleton in 1917
15 February 1874
Kilkea, Athy, County Kildare, Ireland
5 January 1922 (aged 47)
Merchant Navy officer and Antarctic explorer
Raymond, Cecily, and Edward
Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society of Antwerp (1909)
Vega Medal (1910)
Boston Medal, with bar (1910)
Shackleton as a young man
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO OBE FRGS (/'?k?lt?n/; 15 February 1874 - 5 January 1922) was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
Born in Kilkea, Athy, County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton and his Anglo-Irish family moved to Sydenham in suburban south London when he was ten. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition 1901-04, from which he was sent home early on health grounds, after he and his companions Scott and Wilson set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82S.
During the second expedition 1907-1909 he and three companions established a new record Farthest South latitude at 88S, only 97 geographical miles (112 statute miles, 180 km) from the South Pole, the largest advance to the pole in exploration history. Also, members of his team climbed Mount Erebus, the most active Antarctic volcano. For these achievements, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home.
After the race to the South Pole ended in December 1911 with Roald Amundsen's conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to the crossing of Antarctica from sea to sea, via the pole. To this end he made preparations for what became the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-17. Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could be landed. The crew escaped by camping on the sea ice until it disintegrated, then by launching the lifeboats to reach Elephant Island and ultimately the inhabited island of South Georgia, a stormy ocean voyage of 720 nautical miles and Shackleton's most famous exploit.
In 1921, he returned to the Antarctic with the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, but died of a heart attack while his ship was moored in South Georgia. At his wife's request he was buried there.
Away from his expeditions, Shackleton's life was generally restless and unfulfilled. In his search for rapid pathways to wealth and security, he launched business ventures which failed to prosper, and he died heavily in debt.
Upon his death, he was lauded in the press, but was thereafter largely forgotten, while the heroic reputation of his rival Scott was sustained for many decades. Later in the 20th century, Shackleton was "rediscovered", and rapidly became a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described by cultural historian Stephanie Barczewski as "incredible".