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Gallery

Illustrated here are some Stamps, Covers, Postcards and Memorabilia that I wish to share with you. They include some early postcards, covers and memorabilia from Sir Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition 1907-1909 and Exhibition of 1909, an original Hurley photograph of Mawson's Hut, a recently discovered sheet of imperforate South Georgia stamps featuring Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance, two pictures of the Endurance by Frank Hurley, a cover from the Commandant Charcot Expedition of 1948-1950, and a Paquebot cover commemorating MS Gallieni's first visit to Heard Island in January 1971. There is also a cover and an Ulm postcard (autographed by members of the aircrew) that were carried on the first flight of a Russian aircraft to Antarctica via Australia and New Zealand.

Jump straight to:
1. Departure of 'Nimrod' from Lyttelton, New Zealand, 1908
2. Three covers posted from the British Antarctic Expedition, 1908-9
3. Souvenir pamphlet of the 'Nimrod' Expedition, 1908 - 1909
4. Visit of the 'Nimrod' to Sydney from 20th April to 8th May 1909
5. Exhibition of the 'Nimrod' and items from the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9
6. An original Hurley photograph of Mawson's Hut
7. A new find - an imperforate South Georgia stamp sheet
8. 'Endurance' pictures by Frank Hurley
9. French National Antarctic Expedition 1948-1950
10. First visit of "MS Gallieni" to Heard Island
11. First flight from USSR to Mirny, Antarctica, via Australia and New Zealand, and return to USSR (1961-1962)


1. Departure of 'Nimrod' from Lyttelton, New Zealand, 1908

Picture side: 'ZAK' Real Photo postcard.
The inscription on the card reads:
THE 'NIMROD' LEAVING LYTTLETON FOR THE ANTARCTIC
(TRAINING SHIP 'AMOKURA' AT THE WHARF)
ZAK photo series. NEW YEAR'S DAY 1908
Address side: Greyish-black printing (may also be faded, see below), undivided back.

Written message: Date 6.1.07 (probably a mistake and should be 6.1.08).
Dear Miss Irene,
Just had a postcard from Miss Geraldine. She's having a good time. To arrive Wednesday
The signature is not decipherable. If anybody can identify it please let me know.

The original postcard was bought at auction in 2004 and was in a much faded condition. The version illustrated here has been restored from the original by Katharine Shade of Corner Cottage Enterprises.

 

 

 

 


2. Three covers posted from the British Antarctic Expedition, 1908-9

a. 'Nimrod' Expedition cover dated 15th January 1908
First day of issue of King Edward VII Land overprinted stamps

Cover mailed from the Nimrod to Mrs MacIntyre, wife of Mr Justice MacIntyre of Hobart. The Koonya towed the Nimrod 1510 miles from Lyttelton to the edge of the pack ice. Mail from the Nimrod was transferred to the Koonya by whaleboat on 15th January 1908 and then brought back to New Zealand. According to Shackleton "Our letters were all stamped with the special stamp given by the New Zealand Government." The format of the circular date stamp (cds) was BRIT. ANTARCTIC EXPD. and was dated 2.30 PM JA 15 08. This should be taken as the first day of issue of the King Edward VII Land overprinted stamps. The Koonya first called at Port Chalmers and some of the mail was put into the post there. Covers were backstamped: DUNEDIN N.Z. 22.JA. 08. 10-A.M. This letter was then sent on to Hobart and upon arrival it was backstamped with a HOBART TASMANIA cds JA 1908, the precise date is unclear. Imprinted on the back of the cover is BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1907 indicating that the envelope was official Expedition stationery.


Click on pictures for larger versions

.

b. 'Nimrod' Expedition cover dated 3rd February 1908
First posting from Cape Royds

Cover mailed from Cape Royds to L A Sanderson Esq., Philatelic Society, Wellington, N.Z. The format of the circular date stamp (cds) was BRIT. ANTARCTIC EXPD. and it was dated 2.30 PM FE 3 08. The Nimrod sailed from the Antarctic on 22nd February and arrived in Lyttelton on 7th March. The cover was backstamped with a Lyttelton cds and a Christchurch oblong canceller on that date. The letter was then sent on to Wellington and upon arrival it was backstamped with a WELLINGTON cds dated MR 8 10-AM 1908. Imprinted on the back of the cover is BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1907 indicating that the envelope was official Expedition stationery.


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c. 'Nimrod' Expedition cover dated 4th March 1909
Official closing date of Post Office at Cape Royds

Cover mailed from Cape Royds to J J Kinsey Esq., Christchurch, N.Z. The format of the circular date stamp (cds) was BRIT. ANTARCTIC EXPD. and it was dated 2.30 PM MR 4 09. The Nimrod sailed from the Antarctic on 4th March 1909 and arrived in Lyttelton on 25th March 1909. There are no backstamps on the cover, but handwritten on the front of the cover is "Posted at Winter Quarters, B.A.E 1907". J. J. Kinsey was the Expedition's Agent in Christchurch and was also a keen philatelist. The flap of the envelope is missing so it is not possible to know if the envelope was official Expedition stationery. However, the paper is similar of a similar pattern to that of the cover sent to Mrs MacIntyre on January 15th 1908.


Click on picture for larger version

 

 

 



3. Souvenir pamphlet of the 'Nimrod' Expedition, 1908 - 1909

This four-page pamphlet was printed by the NZ Times Co Ltd and sold as a souvenir to help raise funds for the expedition. Page 1 (in colour) and page 2 (in black and white) are shown in full. The poem, The 'Nimrod's' Return, by W. W. Boyes from page 3 is shown below. Also included on page 3 of the pamphlet were small pictures of Lieutenant F. P. Evans (Captain of the 'Nimrod'), Lieutenant Shackleton (Commander of the Expedition) and Professor Edgeworth David (Geologist). The members of the Shore Party and the Officers and Crew of the 'Nimrod' are listed on page 4. In the list of the Shore Party it indicates that Mr G. E. Marston (artist) was a member of the three man Magnetic Pole party when it should have been Mr Douglas Mawson (physicist).

Click on pictures for larger versions

 


4.Visit of the 'Nimrod' to Sydney from 20th April to 8th May 1909

On her return voyage to the UK at the end of Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909, Nimrod, under the captaincy of John King Davis, sailed from Lyttelton, New Zealand on the 10th or 11th April 1909 and arrived in Sydney Harbour on 20th April 1909.  The visit to Sydney was made so that the Nimrod could be docked and completely overhauled prior to commencing her homeward voyage to London, via Cape Horn. The repairs were carried out per courtesy of the naval authorities.  Lieutenant Shackleton arrived in Sydney on board a Mail Steamer on the same day as the Nimrod. While in Sydney the Nimrod and some of the dogs on board were photographed by a number of postcard producers, notable among which was Frank Hurley whose postcards and photographs can be identified by the initials JFH inscribed in white in the lower part of the picture. Two of the postcards produced at this time are illustrated below: "Queenie" Famous Dog of Antarctic Expedtn is a Hurley postcard (JFH bottom right). During the voyage from Lyttelton Queenie gave birth to a litter of four puppies, three of which survived.  The Antartic (sic) Ship "Nimrod" postcard is from an unidentified maker. Also, while in Sydney Shackleton was photogaphed by Hurley in a studio setting. This photograph, "Lieut. Shackleton (leader Antarctic expdtn)" is in the National Library of Australia and can be found at http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an23741417
Note that the JFH initials are on the left of the jacket button!

nimrod

queenie

title

Click on pictures for larger versions

 


5. Exhibition of the 'Nimrod' and items from the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9

Postcard of "The Nimrod"

Picture side: brown gloss photograph with frame, white lettering on picture at the base. The inscription on the card reads: "THE NIMROD"

Address side: Brown printing, divided back.

Following the expedition to the Antarctic the 'Nimrod' was brought back to England. Sir Ernest Shackleton had her masts removed (temporarily) and she was towed under London Bridge and moored at Temple Steps where she was placed on display as part of the Exhibition of The British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-9.

The original postcard was bought at auction in 2004 and was in a much faded condition. The version illustrated here has been restored from the original by Katharine Shade of Corner Cottage Enterprises.

 

 

Booklet (Catalogue) produced for the Exhibition

A 24 page booklet was produce for the September 1909 Exhibition, which was held in a hall near the Temple Steps on the Thames in London. The Exhibition was kept open for a month, entrance fee being one shilling. The front cover and pages 5 and 6 are depicted here.


Click on picture for larger version

Click on picture for larger version

On display in the Exhibition Room were:

Equipment and Stores (25 exhibits)

Tents, sleeping bags, cookers, sledges and harnesses, skis, boots and clothing, and six sledge flags (being those of Shackleton, Wild, Adams, Priestly, Joyce and Day). Scientific equipment on display included the theodolite and aneroid barometer used on the Southern Journey, as well as a hypsometer and various thermometers.

A copy of "Aurora Australis" written by members of the expedition, printed by E. Joyce and F. Wild, illustrated by G. Marston and bound in covers made from packing cases by B. Day as well as the printing machine used to print the book were displayed. Other items included a Remington typewriter, a Singer sewing machine, photographic apparatus, a bath and a gramophone.

Foods and Medicines (7 exhibits)

Included here were dried vegetables, Plasmon powder and biscuits, Oxo, Rowntree's cocoa and Queen chocolate, Spratts dog biscuits, and various medicines supplied by Burroughs Wellcome.

Zoological exhibits

Only twelve items were displayed as the greater part of the Zoological specimens had been distributed to the principal museums of the World.

Those on display included a Weddell seal and pup, four species of penguin (Emperor, Adelie, Gentoo and King), McCormick Skuas as well as eggs of the Royal albatross, King and Adelie penguins and skuas.

Biological exhibits

Specimens of the life on the sea floor at Cape Royds up to a depth of 60 fathoms were displayed in bottles and included sea-urchins, starfish, worms, polyzoa, corals, sea-slugs, shell-fish and seaweeds. Also exhibited were flying fish and Portugese men-of-war (from NZ waters), lacustrine and freshwater animals and plants, lichens and mosses, and Sea Elephants' teeth.

Geological exhibits

The rocks on display had not been sectioned and identified as particular types. They were obtained from Mount Erebus, the area around Cape Royds and during the Western journey.

Photographs

The 146 photographs on display illustrated the course of the Expedition, and were selected from the thousands, which were taken by various members of the Expedition. They included photographs taken during the voyage, the arrival at Cape Royds, the ascent of Mount Erebus, winter activities in the hut, various dogs and ponies, views as the sun returned, activities of the Western Party, the South Magnetic Pole Party, the Southern Party and the Southern Depot Party, and the final photograph entitled "Homeward Bound".

Water-colour drawings, pastels, etchings, etc

By George Marston - 40 items. These included landscapes mainly of the Cape Royds area (sunrise and sunset seemed to be his favourite time) as well as icebergs, portraits of various members of the Expedition and pictures of the Southern Party.

 


6. Mawson's Hut, Cape Denison Station, Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica, 1911-1914


This is a silver gelatin photograph, 19x15 cm, which was presented by Frank Hurley to Archdeacon John Bidwell. The photograph together with four other photographs, taken while Hurley was a member of Mawson' Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914, were auctioned at Charles Leski Auctions (No. 285) on Wednesday March 29th 2006. A further 24 Hurley silver gelatin photographs (also part of Hurley's gift to Archdeacon Bidwell), taken while he was a member of Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1917), were also auctioned at this time. Among the latter was one of Hurley's most famous photographs : The long, long night [the Endurance in the Antarctic winter darkness, trapped in the Weddell Sea, Shackleton expedition, 27 August 1915], which sold for A$20,000.00 (does not include commission and charges!). The photograph can be viewed at PictureAustralia: http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an23478581

Click on picture for larger version

In the Mawson's Hut photograph, taken after a snowstorm, it is possible to make out several members of the expedition (possibly four) standing on piles of snow or on the roof of the hut. There has been some damage to the top right of the photograph, but fortunately only to a section of the sky. It can also be viewed at PictureAustralia:
http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24039577

A similar photograph, possibly taken before the snow had been partly cleared can be viewed at:
http://nla.gov.au/nla.pic-vn3120491

 


7. A new find - an imperforate South Georgia stamp sheet
from Stefan Heijtz
(Reference Polar Post, 35 No. 2, June 2003, page 43)

At Bonhams (previously Phillips) of London a sheet of South Georgia 1972 Shackleton 1 1/2p stamps, COMPLETELY IMPERFORATE, was offered in April 2003. This is a previously unrecorded variety and obviously a major rarity. The sheet had an estimate of £12,000 to £14,000 but it was unsold.

With the help of the staff at Bonhams, Stefan Heijtz was able to get some more information about the background of this sheet of stamps as follows:

The vendor, who is an elderly gentleman of means (the exact words used by Bonhams was that he is a member of the gentry) and likes stamps, is a regular contributor at Bonhams and consigns valuable and interesting material to their auctions. This particular sheet was part of a suitcase full of Falklands and Dependencies sheets, which he bought some 20 years ago. He found the imperforate sheet but didn't tell or show it to anybody until now. Exactly how it originally came onto the market is not known but this particular issue was printed by a relatively unknown company, Alden & Mowbray Ltd (see pictures), which is otherwise not associated with stamp printing, especially not for the Falklands and the Dependencies. Therefore it is not impossible that the sheet was actually issued together with the regular perforated stamps through the normal channels, the Crown Agents or the Falkland Islands Post Office. The imperforate sheet has the same watermark as the regular stamps and is in every respect identical to perforated stamps (see pictures of the top left corner blocks of perforate and imperforate stamps). This is probably as far as we will be able to get regarding this fascinating item. It has also been confirmed that this is the only known imperforate sheet from this source.

Stefan Heijtz became the agent for the sheet and it was broken down and offered as individual stamps, or pairs, or blocks of four. The prices were as follows: singles £300.00, pairs £600.00, blocks of four £1,200.00, blocks of six £1,800.00.

The sheet was broken down as follows:
One block of six (bottom right corner)
Eight blocks of four (all marginal including 3 corners)
Three pairs
Six singles

 

 


8. 'Endurance' pictures by Frank Hurley

Illustrated here are two of Frank Hurley's photographs supplied to me by Shane Murphy (a positive from the Royal Geographical Society collection and a negative from Christie's) from which the picture of Endurance in the South Georgia stamps probably originated.


Click on picture for larger version


9. French National Antarctic Expedition 1948-1950

Example of non-subscription mail from the first Paul-Emile Victor Antarctic expedition aboard Commandant Charcot, cancelled at the officially-authorised French Southern and Antarctic territories post office of "Terre Adélie" on both attempts (15-2-1949 and 20-1-1950). Has expedition straight line and pictorial cachets, plus a vignette that was carried for affixing to mail, but was not affixed to it until after the expedition returned with its serviced mail. The 100F Madagascar, Allegory of flight stamp has been overprinted in red "TERRE ADELIE, DUMONT D'URVILLE, 1840" [SG Madagascar 319; Y&T (Poste Aérienne) 1].

 


10. First visit of "MS Gallieni" to Heard Island

Paquebot cover from MS Gallieni postmarked with Archipel des Kerguelen cancels on 1st January 1971. It bears two cachets of MS Gallieni, one of which commemorates the ship's first visit to Heard Island in January 1971. The two stamps, the 20F Black-browed albatross (SG 31; Y&T 24) and the 12F Phyllica de l'ile Amsterdam (SG 29; Y&T 29) have separate cancels. There is also a clear strike of the Archipel des Kerguelen postmarker on the cover.


11. First flight from USSR to Mirny, Antarctica,
via Australia
and New Zealand, and return to USSR (1961-1962)

Two long-range turboprop Russian planes, an Ilyushin 18 passenger plane and an Anatov 10 (12?) cargo plane carrying scientific and technical staff plus equipment left Moscow on 15th December 1961 and arrived in Darwin on 20th Dec. 1961 bound for the Russian Antarctic station at Mirny. From Darwin they would fly to Sydney, on to Christchurch in NZ, McMurdo in Antarctica and arrive in Mirny on 27th Dec. 1961. In Darwin the crews of each plane were joined by a RAAF navigator and an Australian military interpreter (acting in a civil capacity) for the flight to Sydney where they arrived on 21st Dec. 1961.

In Sydney one of the interpreters, Major DJ Neville, arranged with Marc Shevelev, leader of the Russian Expedition, to carry six covers and some 1933 Trans-Tasman postcards on the flight to Mirny and on the return flight to Sydney in January 1962. The covers were affixed with 5d Australian stamps and cancelled with the Sydney Airport postmarker on the day of departure for NZ, 22nd Dec. 1961. For the return flight from Mirny the covers were affixed with 60 Kopec Russian stamps and cancelled with the Mirny Antarctic postmarker on 25th Jan. 1962, the day of departure. The planes arrived back in Sydney on 26th Jan. 1962 and the covers and cards were handed back to Major Neville on the following day and the covers were backstamped with the Sydney International postmarker on 27th Jan. 1962.

The 1933 Trans-Tasman postcards (number unknown) were those previously carried by CTP Ulm in "Faith in Australia" VH-UXX to New Zealand [see catalogue No. 348 in the Australian Air Mail Catalogue (7th edition, 2002) edited by Nelson Eustis and published by Hobby Investments Pty Ltd, Adelaide, South Australia]. These cards did not go through the post, but were impressed with 2 square cachets in violet, 'DEPARTED RICHMOND N.S.W. AUSTRALIA 5.27 P.M. 3. DEC 1933. CTP Ulm COMMANDER. "FAITH IN AUSTRALIA" ' and 'ARRIVED NEW PLYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND 9.47 A.M. 4. DEC 1933, CTP Ulm etc.' The cards were signed by CTP Ulm. The reverse of the cards carried to Mirny and return were signed by Marc Shevelev (see above) and by the Captain, Alex Polyakov, and crew of the Ilyushin 18.

1st-flight-USSR-Mirny-12.6x15

Ulm-card-+-1st-flight-USSR-9x14


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