Sir Ernest Shackleton's medals coming to auction

Small offering of medals, orders and decorations for polar explorer
By , Coin World
Published : 09/29/15
Text Size

Shackleton embarked on a series of lecture tours at home, on the continent, and in North America, and was showered with foreign decorations by heads of state and societies, pieces that compose part of the Christie’s auction.

Chile hosts explorers 

Another of Shackleton’s ventures would end in disaster, but without loss of life. 

Shortly before World War I broke out, Shackleton began the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914 to 1916, intending to make a first crossing of the Antarctic Continent. 

His ship Endurance was beset and crushed by ice, and sank in the Weddell Sea in early 1916. The expedition then turned into an epic tale of survival as expedition members journeyed on foot across the ice and in open boats on the sea until they reached Elephant Island. Shackleton then left most of his men for another long journey to another island where help could be obtained. All of the men from the Endurance survived, because Shackleton received help from the Chilean authorities and eventually retrieved his marooned crew from Elephant Island.

Shackleton arrived in Punta Arenas with his rescued men on Sept. 3, 1916, where they enjoyed the hospitality of the Chilean port and its British colony before eventually being presented to the Chilean president and receiving their awards. 

The Chilean Order of Merit, offered in lot 151, was an award made in Santiago. The order recalls the happy ending. The order has an estimate of $6,300 to $9,400.

To learn more about the auction, visit the firm’s website.

You are signed in as:null
No comments yet