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Raft of polar expedition souvenirs, including a hand-drawn map by Ernest Shackleton, for sale

A remarkable hand-drawn map of Antarctica by Ernest Shackleton that he used for his lecture tours is to sell at auction for £70,000.

The famous British explorer traced on the 5 foot by 3 foot map the route of his group when their legendary ship Endurance became trapped in the ice in October 1915.

Shackleton and four other men were forced to make an astonishing 800-mile trip by open boat to South Georgia to get help rescuing the 22-man crew.

The historical map traces the Antarctic expedition from 1914 to 1916.

It is signed by Shackleton, who marked the approximate point at which the Endurance finally sank more than a year after being trapped in the ice.

A 5ft by 3ft map of Antarctica (pictured) hand-drawn and signed by British explorer Ernest Shackleton is set to sell for £70,000 as it goes up for auction alongside a host of polar memorabilia.

A 5ft by 3ft map of Antarctica (pictured) hand-drawn and signed by British explorer Ernest Shackleton is set to sell for £70,000 as it goes up for auction alongside a host of polar memorabilia.

The map, which shows the point where Shackleton and his crew were stranded on the polar ice, may have been used by Shackleton in lectures.

The map, which shows the point where Shackleton and his crew were stranded on the polar ice, may have been used by Shackleton in lectures.

After the crew became trapped in polar ice, Shackleton set out on an astonishing 800-mile open-boat journey to South Georgia to get help rescuing the 22-man crew.  Pictured: A photograph of Ernest Shackleton on the Endurance in 1914

After the crew became trapped in polar ice, Shackleton set out on an astonishing 800-mile open-boat journey to South Georgia to get help rescuing the 22-man crew. Pictured: A photograph of Ernest Shackleton on the Endurance in 1914

A copy of the first edition of Aurora Australis, the first book printed and bound in Antarctica, will also be auctioned.  In the picture: a page from Aurora Australis

A copy of the first edition of Aurora Australis, the first book printed and bound in Antarctica, will also be auctioned. In the picture: a page from Aurora Australis

The entire crew survived the sinking of the Endurance thanks to Shackleton’s rescue mission.

Her wreck was finally discovered in 10,000 feet of water at the bottom of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in March of this year, 107 years after she disappeared.

The map, made in 1918, has not been seen in public for more than 30 years.

It has been consigned from a private American collection and is expected to sell for £70,000 with London-based Sotheby’s auctioneers.

Auctioneers say it is the largest map produced by Shackleton.

Next to it lies under the hammer a first edition copy of the first book printed and bound in Antarctica, which is valued at £70,000.

The rare book was produced using a cast-iron printing press in a shack during the winter of 1908.

A Norwegian flag that traveled with explorer Roald Amundsen to the South Pole in 1912, when he overtook Captain Robert Scott’s doomed party, is expected to fetch £30,000.

A three-volume set of The South Polar Times, produced to commemorate Captain Scott’s first Antarctic expedition from 1901 to 1904, which he himself dedicated to his mother, is estimated at £30,000.

The inscription, dated October 1907, reads “To my dearest mother with best love, Robert Scott.”

Scott and the rest of his five-man party died on their return from the South Pole in early 1912.

A ‘Terra Nova’ expedition sled could fetch £50,000, while Shackleton’s bronze medal from the Chilean Historical and Geographical Society, awarded in 1916, is valued at £30,000.

Shackleton died in his cabin on the exploration ship Quest, anchored off South Georgia in 1922.

He was 47 years old.

A Sotheby’s spokesman said: “The large hand-drawn and annotated map primarily records Shackleton’s epic 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition and the heroic rescue of his crew.

The book, Aurora Australis, was written and illustrated by Ernest Shackleton's crew on a 1908-09 polar expedition, a cultural activity their captain promoted to keep the men busy and sane during the daily grind of the voyage.

The book, Aurora Australis, was written and illustrated by Ernest Shackleton’s crew on a 1908-09 polar expedition, a cultural activity their captain promoted to keep the men busy and sane during the daily grind of the voyage.

A Norwegian flag that traveled with explorer Roald Amundsen to the South Pole in 1912 is expected to fetch £30,000 as it goes up for auction alongside a host of other polar expedition memorabilia.

A Norwegian flag that traveled with explorer Roald Amundsen to the South Pole in 1912 is expected to fetch £30,000 as it goes up for auction alongside a host of other polar expedition memorabilia.

A bronze medal (pictured) awarded to Shackleton by the Chilean Historical and Geographical Society in 1916 is valued at £30,000

A bronze medal (pictured) awarded to Shackleton by the Chilean Historical and Geographical Society in 1916 is valued at £30,000

A sled from the 'Terra Nova' expedition (1910-1913) could fetch £50,000

A sled from the ‘Terra Nova’ expedition (1910-1913) could fetch £50,000

“The purpose of this expedition was to cross the continent with a group of sledges to be landed by the Endurance in the Weddell Sea, while another group on the Aurora was to establish inland depots from their base at McMurdo Sound in the Weddell Sea. Ross for the transpolar party.

‘The various clues on the map tell the story of what really happened.

“The Endurance was beset by ice and drifted for nine months before Shackleton abandoned her and drifted on the ice for another five months before finally reaching the uncertain safety of Elephant Island.

“It was from here that Shackleton made his epic open-boat voyage on the James Caird to South Georgia in an effort to bring aid to those left behind.

‘After three failed attempts, the rest of the group was rescued.

‘Shackleton was an experienced lecturer and this map may have been drawn by him to illustrate a talk.’

The scheduled sale ends on May 24.

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