THE HUBERT WILKINS NAUTILUS SUBMARINE EXPEDITION TO THE ARCTIC, 1931. A collection of 113 photographs of the Wilkins-Ellsworth trans-Arctic Submarine Expedition, 1931,
Lot 121
THE HUBERT WILKINS NAUTILUS SUBMARINE EXPEDITION TO THE ARCTIC, 1931.
A collection of 113 photographs of the Wilkins-Ellsworth trans-Arctic Submarine Expedition, 1931,
Sold for US$ 3,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
THE HUBERT WILKINS NAUTILUS SUBMARINE EXPEDITION TO THE ARCTIC, 1931.
A collection of 113 photographs of the Wilkins-Ellsworth trans-Arctic Submarine Expedition, 1931, documenting the expeditions progress from Bergen Norway to Spitzbergen, and on to the Arctic Ice pack, including 60 of the repairs of the sub at Bergen and its relaunch, life onboard and in Arctic waters, and 53 of shore life at Bergen and Spitzbergen, [Norway, Spitzbergen, and Arctic Waters, 1931], various sizes(58 x 85 mm up to 100 x 130 mm), most black and white, some in sepia, some with stenciled numbers on verso, one with the ink stamp of the "Wilkins-Ellsworth trans-Arctic Submarine Expedition 1931," and signed "with compliments Hubert Wilkins";
WITH: Soule's personal camera taken on board, a small box Agfa camera (pictured in the collection).
Provenance: Floyd M Soule, first assistant scientist to the expedition, by descent.

A fascinating and poignant collection of images of the first attempt to trans-navigate the Arctic by submarine. The Australian Polar explorer, Sir Hubert Wilkins, was on his honeymoon in 1930 and staying with Lincoln Ellsworth when the idea was hatched by these great polar explorers to be the first to travel under the North Polar Ice Cap by submarine. The smaller photographs appear to have been taken by Soule with this Agfa camera, but the larger sized images, one of which has the signature of Wilkins on the verso, may well have been images given to Soule, and are probably those taken by the official photographer of the expedition, Emile Dored. A fascinating series of views of gritty life onboard the cramped submarine, as well as the work of the scientists. Soule and and fellow Scientist Sverdrup, went on to publish the Scientific Oceanographic Results of the expedition in an MIT Journal in 1933.

The expedition hired Sloan Danenhower to be its Commander, and various scientists in oceanographic research were recruited. Wilkins then persuaded the US Navy to lease him an ex-1916 US sub, the SS73, which was taken down to Camden NJ for refitting, and then launched in Brooklyn on March 24 1931. On the voyage over to England it broke down and had to be towed in for repairs in Ireland, but eventually it got up to Bergen where further repairs were required. It finally set off from Bergen in August 1931, with a crew of 20 for Spitzbergen, and then on to the edge of the Polar Ice Cap. It was there that they discovered that the diving rudders were lacking, possibly sabotaged, and that they could not dive deep enough under the ice to make the 42-day journey from near Spitzbergen to the Bering Strait. After some scientific work the expedition returned to Norway but suffered yet more damage form the autumn storms. The ancient submarine was towed out into the fjord on November 20th 1931 and scuttled, ending a particularly unsuccessful expedition, mainly paid for by Wilkins himself. Wilkins had arranged for some sponsorship from The Hearst Enterprises Inc which entailed them doing daily exclusive reports for the New York American which made the expedition look rather flashy, and not very "scientific," and most people at the time believed that the damage to the submarine was caused by sabotage from the crew!
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armour, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $250,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $250,001 to $4,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12.5% on the excess over $4,000,001 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Ian Ehling
    Specialist - Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 644 9094
Similar Items