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Ernest Shackleton memorabilia really takes the biscuit

Recently a set of medals belonging to AF Mackay, the physician on Ernest Shackleton’s 1907-1909 Nimrod expedition, sold for £48,000 ($77,237) – up 864% on their estimate.

 Mackay Shackleton Polar Medals Doctor Surgeon

AF Mackay’s Antarctic medal

For over a century the Shackleton story has captured the imaginations of people around the world. The combination of bravery, stiff upper lips (and even stiffer moustaches) ensures that almost any memorabilia that comes to auction tends to achieve impressive results.

Take for example this biscuit, discovered in Shackleton’s famous Antarctic hut on Cape Royds in 1960 – which achieved a notable £1,250 ($2,026).

Shackleton biscuit

The $2,000 biscuit

You would be forgiven for thinking that that must be some sort of record – however it pales in comparison to the £7,637 ($12,382) paid for a collection of crumbs from a biscuit taken on Shackleton’s ill-fated Endurance expedition in 1915!

Personal items tend to be very popular. Last year Shackleton’s own white polo neck sweater made £9,375 ($15,028) at a sale at Christie’s in London, while a handkerchief, featuring a monogrammed E sold for £2,500 ($4,008).

With public enthusiasm showing no sign of dampening after over 100 years, we can offer you this exclusive letter – written to his wife just 9  months before his tragic death aboard his ship in Rio De Janeiro.


About paulfrasercollectibles

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3 responses »

  1. It never ceases to amaze me the big bucks people will shell out for the strangest collectible-related items. What auction house sold these?


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