Exploration & Travel sales bring together paintings, photographs, books, manuscripts and artefacts relating to the historical voyages and expeditions of renowned navigators and explorers, amongst them Cook and Bligh in the Pacific; Humboldt and Darwin in the Americas; Stanley and Livingstone in Africa; Burton and Lawrence in the Middle East; Scott and Shackleton in the Antarctic, and Mallory and Hillary on Everest. As well as narratives by early travellers, the sales include topographical pictures by itinerant artists in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia and the Pacific, featuring such leading artists as Hodges, Webber, Rugendas, the Daniells, Baines, Glover, Martens, Chevalier, Chinnery and Borget.
These sales in recent years have included the dispersal of relics from some of the most emotive of all names in the annals of exploration: The Scott Relics in 1999, The Shackleton Collection in 2001, The Freycinet Collection (artwork from two French voyages to the Pacific), The Bligh Relics and The Henry Morton Stanley Collection, all in 2002, and Chinnery’s Macao album from the Reeves collection in 2005. Private treaty sales have been led by John Webber’s Portrait of Poetua, sold on behalf of the descendants of the Tahitian princess to Te Papa Tongawera, the National Museum of New Zealand, for €1,120,000 in 2010.
See also: Travel, Science & Natural History
This department is currently seeking consignments for its upcoming auction. For a free valuation or more information on consignment opportunities, please contact one of our specialists below.
A Catalogue of the Different Specimens of Cloth
watercolour on paper
British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13: Ponting’s three master albums of contact prints
Naba-Leba, Roi de Solor
watercolour on paper
The Matterhorn, Switzerland, from the north-east
pencil and watercolour on paper
The sledge party to White Island, February 1902: Shackleton, Wilson and Ferrar preparing to set out (one of a pair)
watercolour on paper
The Reeves Macao Album, 1836-1837
pencil, pen and sepia ink and watercolour
The Northern Whale Fishery; the Swan and Isabella
oil on canvas
Captain Scott's silk sledging flag
An Antimony Cup, or poculum emeticum associated with Captain James Cook, RN
Views in the South Sea
watercolour on laid paper
Santiago de Chile from the hill of Santa Lucia looking to the west
oil on canvas
Lacquered pocket brass compass, with which George Bass discovered Bass' Straits
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Amanda Fuller joined Christie’s Topographical department in 2010 as a Junior Specialist. Since starting at Christie’s, Amanda has contributed to the department’s various sales including Exploration & Travel, and Australian and South African sales in addition to working on Private Sales. Prior to joining Christie’s, Amanda worked with local auction houses and galleries in Melbourne. Amanda graduated from Monash University, Melbourne with a B.A.(Hons) in Art History and History, and the University of Melbourne with an M.A. in Art Curatorship.
Nicholas Lambourn joined Christie's in 1981 and has specialized in Australian Paintings since the mid-1980s. Working in the UK, Europe and Australia, he has sourced some of the major modern Australian paintings that have come to auction over the last 20 years - from Nolan's epic Riverbend II, sold in London on behalf of the Sir Sidney Nolan Trust for £450,500 (A$1,022,181), a world auction record for the artist at the time (1993); to Fred Williams's Upwey Landscape for £720,000 (A$1,807,000), which shattered the previous world auction record for the artist's work set at Christie's (2006).
Helena Ingham joined Christie’s in 2004 as a graduate intern, moving into the Topographical department in 2006. She works primarily on the Exploration and Travel and Polar sales, helping secure collections – most recently The Charles Seymour “Silas” Wright Collection including Relics from Scott’s Last Expedition, sourced in Canada and sold in September 2010. Helena works with Nicholas Lambourn and Amanda Fuller on the Australian and South African Art sales, as well as working closely with Nicolas Martineau at South Kensington on collection sales, notably A Channel Island Treasure House: Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours from the Collection of the late John Appleby (sold November 2010). Helena graduated in 2001 from the University of York with a BA(Hons) in English Literature. She has recently returned to work following the birth of her daughter in 2011.
Rupert Neelands joined Christie’s South Kensington in 1983 –- an era when sales took place every fortnight and tea-chests spread across the basement floor piled high with books were a prominent feature of the department’s topography. In his 15 years as a South Ken stalwart -- ten of them as Department Head -- Rupert witnessed the introduction of such innovations as computers, mobile phones, fax machines, bidding paddles and buyers’ premium, as sales became less frequent but gradually moved upmarket. In 1998 he was appointed Senior Specialist for printed books at King Street, where he has handled books of a different value quantum and gained the inestimable benefit of a window. While his qualifications in English Literature and early experience as an English teacher give him strong literary leanings, Rupert also enjoys spectacular atlases and all forms of illustrated book. His favourite poet is William Blake, and most admired scientist Newton. Lesser known books on social pursuits such as angling, chess, cricket, and tennis are a special interest, along with the whole field of 18th-century pamphlet literature. Rupert studied English Literature at Bristol under Christopher Ricks, and followed this with an M.A. at Queen Mary College, London.
Since joining Christie's in 1998, Thomas Venning has catalogued autograph letters, manuscripts and music ranging in date from the 1070s to the 1970s by many of the great figures of European history and thought, from Mozart to Napoleon and from John Donne to Einstein. Highlights during this time have included the youthful diary of G.W. Hegel (£146,750, November 2000), the original witness statements for the first trial of Oscar Wilde (£44,650, June 2001), the lost manuscript of Federico Garcia Lorca's last collection, Poeta en Nueva York (£139,650, June 2003) and a draft of Winston Churchill's great wartime speech, ‘The Few’ (£139,250 in June 2008 -- three times the previous record for a Churchill manuscript). In July 2007 he was responsible for the landmark sale of The Albin Schram Collection of Autograph Letters, which set a series of world records (amongst them the top lot, a magnificent love letter from Napoleon to Josephine, at £276,000) and created a new public profile for this collecting field. At the same time, Thomas leads Christie's work in the complex field of archives: he has valued some of the most significant collections in the UK and across Europe, from the papers of great landed families to those of banks, publishing houses and living writers; key sales have included the Abinger Shelley papers (including the autograph manuscript of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein), the archive of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland, the Dalhousie papers, which included the papers of the Marquis of Dalhousie as governor-general of India as well as the earliest manuscript history of Norway, and the archive of Sir Edward Heath. Thomas holds a B.A. from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in Classics and English; he speaks fluent English and French and divides his time between the London and Paris Books departments.
Julian Wilson joined Christie's Books & Manuscripts department in 2008 as a Specialist after spending eleven years at the antiquarian booksellers Maggs Bros, where he ran the Natural History department. In his years at Christie's, Julian Wilson has helped to catalogue the Foljambe Collection of natural history books (April 2008) as well as many other fine natural history, science and travel books, including maps and atlases. Highlights during this time have included the negotiation of the sale of the Max Newman Collection of Alan Turing offprints to Bletchley Park in January 2011, and a British record for a first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species (£103,250, November 2009). Julian’s expertise lies in all aspects of natural history and science, and he is particularly interested in the relationship between voyages of exploration and the acquisition and scientific description of natural objects -- Alexander Shaw’s 1787 book composed of samples of Tapa cloth collected during the voyages of Captain Cook (£115,250, September 2010) has been one such highlight. The fields of science and exploration also offer enjoyable opportunities for involvement with non-book lots, such as the Apple-1 computer which sold for £133,250 (November 2010) or the Enigma machine which fetched £67,250 in the same sale -- both world records for these objects. Julian has a fascination with paleontology, geology and the earth sciences, and is a member of the History of Geology Group at the Geological Society of London. He is a Council member of the Society for the History of Natural History and a past Chairman of the T.E. Lawrence Society.
Nick Martineau joined Christie's South Kensington in 1989 as a porter before becoming an administrator in the Wine department. In 1998 Nick was promoted to run the Antiquarian Prints department and three years later started the Topographical department at South Kensington working closely with the King Street Books & Manuscripts department. Nick manages bi-annual Travel & Natural History Sales at South Kensington whilst also cataloguing Prints for the Interior sales and advising other departments at South Kensington. Nick studied paper conservation and printmaking at Camberwell School of Art 1987-1989.