Make an enquiryTo send a message simply fill out the form below.
AN INSCRIBED PRESENTATION SET OF ‘THE MOST LUXURIOUS PUBLICATION TO HAVE APPEARED DURING THE “HEROIC AGE” OF ANTARCTIC EXPLORATION’
SHACKLETON, Sir Ernest Henry.
The heart of the Antarctic. Being the story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907–1909 . . . With an introduction by Hugh Robert Mill and an account of the first journey to the South Magnetic Pole by Professor T. W. Edgeworth David. London, Ballantyne & Co. Limited for William Heinemann 1909Description
4to (268 x 223mm), 3 volumes, including The Antarctic Book. Winter Quarters 1907-1909, comprising volumes I-II (The Heart of the Antarctic): pp. I: xlviii, 372; II: xv, [1 (note)], 419, [1 (blank)]; 2 mounted photographic frontispieces from photographs with printed tissue guards, that of Shackleton inscribed beneath his portrait ‘Yours sincerely / Ernest Shackleton / Oct. 1911’, 12 mounted colour-printed plates with printed tissue guards, and 200 monochrome plates, including 4 double-page; 3 folding colour-printed maps after Douglas Mawson, Eric Marshall, et al., and one folding panorama loose as issued in a pocket on the lower pastedown of vol. II; illustrations, diagrams and plans, some full-page, titles printed in ochre and black and with woodcut publisher's devices; original full vellum, upper boards blocked in gilt with 'At the Sign of the Penguins' device, spines lettered and ruled in gilt, top edges gilt, others uncut, brown silk markers; and volume III (The Antarctic Book): pp. 54, [2 (imprint, verso blank)], bifolium with woodcut heading 'THE BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1907 1909' on two pages above the signatures of 15 members of the Shore Party and Mackintosh, 4 colour-printed portraits of members of the Southern Party after George Marston mounted on thick grey paper, and 6 etchings after Marston; woodcut initials and 'At the Sign of the Penguins' device printed in ochre, title with woodcut publisher's devices; original vellum-backed boards, spine titled in gilt, top edges gilt, others uncut; some light offsetting and light marginal browning and occasional marginal marking or short tears, scattered light spotting in III, loose panorama slightly chipped at edges, some light marking on boards, II with skilfull repairs on map-pocket and hinges, III lightly rubbed at corners and with the usual offsetting onto free endpapers, nonetheless a very good, clean set. [With:] E.H. SHACKLETON. Autograph letter signed (‘Ernest Shackleton’) presenting this set to Albu, Marlborough Club, Pall Mall, 2 October 1911. 2pp. on a bifolium with printed address, folded for posting, autograph envelope fixed onto the front free endpaper of I with adhesive tape.Provenance
Leopold Albu (1861-1938, letter from Shackleton and presentation inscription).
Conrad p. 148; Rosove 305.A2; Spence 1096; Taurus 57 ('the most luxurious publication to have appeared during the "heroic age" of Antarctic exploration, recording the exploits of the one British expedition to have been crowned with popular success, and signed by all members of the shore party').
First edition, de luxe issue, no. 5 of 300 sets, including the first and only edition of the Antarctic Book, with a letter from Shackleton presenting the set. 'The three-volume special edition [of The Heart of the Antarctic] is one of the most handsome productions in the Antarctic canon. Nothing was spared by the publisher and printer to style the volumes as beautifully as possible. The work is sumptuously bound in vellum, in large quarto format with broad margins around the typeset, and printed on thick, high-quality, deckle-edges paper specially watermarked "1907 BAE 1909". The full-page photographic plates are outstanding [...] Marston's watercolors are vibrantly reproduced, each mounted on a sheet of thick, brown paper with a titled tissue guard. The Antarctic Book possesses the coup – a double page signed by all members of the shore party' (Rosove). The signatures comprise those of the fifteen who had wintered at Cape Royd, together with that of Aeneas Mackintosh: 'After Mackintosh lost his right eye in an accident on board the Nimrod on 31 January 1908, which necessarily excluded him from consideration of inclusion in the shore party, he went back to New Zealand. The next season, he returned to the Antarctic and became a member of the Bluff depot party. Shackleton trusted him and likely included him in the book signing to honor him. Shackleton later put Mackintosh in charge of the Ross Sea shore party during the 1914-17 expedition' (Rosove). The Antarctic Book contains Shackleton's poem 'Erebus' and Douglas Mawson's 'Bathybia' (both extracted from Aurora Australis) and is illustrated with four portraits of members of the Southern Party – Ernest Shackleton, Jameson Boyd Adams, Eric Marshall, and Frank Wild – and six etchings after Marston; of these six, three were included in Aurora Australis, two were created for The Antarctic Book ('Mount Erebus in Eruption' and 'Giant Toadstool'), and the portrait of Frank Wild was first published here. The volume is known in two states; Shackleton's poem 'Erebus' was typeset from Aurora Australis and, due to the running head 'Aurora Australis', it was set as two separate poems in one state of The Antarctic Book, an error which was then rectified by the re-setting and cancellation of quire d (as here).