After Lt. Samuel Gurney Cresswell (British, 1827-1867) Eight lithographs depicting HMS Investigator.
Lot 118
After Lt. Samuel Gurney Cresswell (British, 1827-1867) I, First discovery of land by HMS Investigator, September 6th 1850. II, Bold Headland on Baring Island. III, HMS Investigator in the pack, October 8th 1850. IV, Critical position of HMS Investigator on the north coast of Baring Island, August 20th 1851. V, HMS Investigator running through a narrow channel in a snow storm between rounded and packed ice, September 23rd 1851. VI, Melville Island from Bank's Land. VII, Sledge party leaving HMS Investigator in Mercy Bay, under command of Lt. Gurney Cresswell, 15th April 1853. VIII, Sledging over hummocky ice, April 1853. 31.7 x 41.9 cm. (12 1/2 x 16 1/2 in.) a set of eight.
Sold for £2,868 (US$ 4,820) inc. premium
Lot Details
After Lt. Samuel Gurney Cresswell (British, 1827-1867)


  • In 1849 Lt. Cresswell volunteered to join a search for Sir John Franklin's ill-fated 1845 expedition to seek the 'North-West Passage'.

    The search was led by Capt. Robert McClure in HMS Investigator and attempted to seek Franklin's ships Erebus and Terror by starting from the Pacific. McClure sailed through the Bering straits, across the Beaufort Sea and then North-East into the Prince of Wales' Strait. McClure soon became stuck in pack-ice and the crew and vessel endured two winters in the Arctic fruitlessly searching for Franklin and a way through the ice. On a sledging foray they had though, they sighted Melville Sound to the East and so confirmed the existence of the North-West Passage.

    By April 1853 with Investigator still trapped in ice at Mercy Bay, McClure sent Lt Cresswell in command of a sledging party across the frozen ocean to Beechey Island with dispatches for the Admiralty. Cresswell's party encountered HMS Phoenix under the command of Captain Inglefield and so was saved.