ANTARCTIC - SCOTT'S LAST EXPEDITION
Lot 52
ANTARCTIC - SCOTT'S LAST EXPEDITION
Sold for £ 3,600 (US$ 4,691) inc. premium

Lot Details
ANTARCTIC - SCOTT'S LAST EXPEDITION
Memorials collected by Alfred B. Cheetham, comprising (i) a large side-view 'Rigging Plan' of Scott's Terra Nova, inscribed by Cheetham "To Cyril/ From Uncle Alfred/ British Antarctic Expedition/ Terra Nova/ June 1910", printed outline, coloured in yellow and blue wash, paper, laid down on board, some browning and discoloration, inscription a trifle sunned, framed, 540 x 880 mm.; (ii) autograph album, in the form of a birthday book, evidently assembled by Cheetham when the ship was berthed at Cardiff before finally setting sail from Britain, comprising signatures of Captain Scott and crew members of the Terra Nova (in order of appearance): "Alf. J. Brewster. S.Y. 'Terra Nova'/ R.Y.S./ 14-6-10", "FEDavies/ S.Y. Terra Nova/ 1910", "Thos Feather RN/ s y Terra Nova/ 14.6.10", "F Browning S Y Terra Nova", "Edgar Evans/ Terra Nova", "
George P. Abbott/ Terra Nova/ June 14th 1910", "P. Keohane Terra Nova", "A.B. Cheetham/ terra Nova. British Antarctic Expedition June 10th 1910/ South Pole", "R Scott/ Terra Nova/ 1910", "J. Crean/ R.Y.S. Terra Nova", "Robert Forde POI/ S.Y. Terra Nova RYS/ Queenstown/ Ireland", "Rbt. Brissenden. Ldg. Str", "T.S. Williamson/ SY. Terra Nova/ British Antarctic Expedition", "W.H. Neale/ Steward", "Wm Williams 2nd Engineer/ R.Y.S. Terra Nova 14/6/10", "H. Dickason/ S.Y. Terra Nova/ South Pol Expedition", and "Wm. L. Heald/ York. 1875/ Terra Nova", with other signatures gathered later and later insertions (including a notice of Cheetham's death at sea in 1918), inscribed to Edna Irene Cheetham of Penarth from Elsie, Christmas 1910, cloth, upper cover stamped 'Wedding Chimes for Every Day in the Year', some usual wear but overall in good condition, 16mo, 10-14 June 1910

Footnotes

  • Alfred Buchanan Cheetham (1867-1918) had one of the most remarkable careers in Antarctic exploration, serving on the Morning on Scott's first expedition, 1902, as third officer and boatswain on the Nimrod on Shackleton's first expedition, 1907-1909, as Boatswain on the Terra Nova on Scott's second expedition, 1910-1913, and as third officer on the Endurance on Shackleton's second expedition, 1914-1917. He then joined the merchant marine. His old commander was to pay him the following tribute: "Cheetham, the veteran of the Antarctic, who had been more often south of the Antarctic circle than any man, was drowned when the vessel he was serving in was torpedoed, a few weeks before the Armistice" (Shackleton, South: the Endurance Expedition, Penguin edition, p.333).

    This picture of the Terra Nova and the accompanying autograph album were evidently given to Cheetham's nephew and niece, who lived at Penarth, when the Terra Nova berthed at Cardiff for six days prior to setting sail for the southern oceans on 15 June 1910. The album is particularly unusual in that it contains sixteen signatures gathered from below decks, as well as that of Scott himself. It includes the rare signature of Petty Officer Edgar ('Taff') Evans, who was to perish with Scott on the return from the Pole.

    We are grateful to Heather Lane, Librarian at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, for pointing out that a similar plan is reproduced in Michael Tarver's S.S. Terra Nova (1884-1943): From the Arctic to the Antarctic... (Pendragon Maritime Publications, 2006, p.29).
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