CRESSWELL, SAMUEL GURNEY. 1827-1867.
A Series of Eight Sketches in Colour: together with a Coloured Map of the Route; By Lieut. S. G. Cresswell, of the Voyages of H. M. S. Investigator, Capt. M'Clure, during the Discovery of the North-West Passage. London: Day and Son, 1854.
Folio (605 x 425 mm). Title (incorporating dedication) + 4 pp. 8 chromolithographed plates and one chart, interleaved. Original red cloth gilt, hinges sympathetically strengthened, some staining to covers; occasional minor spotting.
RARE SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE ENTRAPMENT AND ABANDONMENT OF H.M.S. INVESTIGATOR IN THE ARCTIC ICE; FIRST EDITION. The McClure Arctic Expedition of 1850, among numerous British search efforts to determine the fate of Franklin's lost expedition, is distinguished as the voyage during which Robert McClure became the first person to confirm and transit the Northwest Passage by a combination of sea travel and sledging. McClure and his crew spent three years locked in the pack ice aboard the HMS Investigator before abandoning it and making their escape across the ice. Rescued by the HMS Resolute, which was itself later lost to the ice, McClure returned to England in 1854, where he was knighted and rewarded for completing the passage, after, of course, being acquitted of his court martial which was standard procedure for a captain who had lost a ship. In July 2010, Canadian archeologists looking for the HMS Investigator found it fifteen minutes after they started a sonar scan of Banks Island, Mercy Bay, Northwest Territories. The present volume, with its beautiful plates, is quite rare. We locate only one complete copy at auction going back thirty years (and that one rebound). Abbey Travel 644; Sabin 17490.