• Travel, Science and Natural Hi auction at Christies

    Sale 2362

    Travel, Science and Natural History

    29 September 2011, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 144

    British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909

    Price Realised  


    British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909
    A Huntley & Palmers biscuit from the stores of the British Antarctic
    Expedition, 1908-1909, Cape Royds, lat. 77°33'S, long. 166°07'E
    circular, 3in. (7.7cm.) diameter

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    'Particularly in food, Shackleton took care to avoid old mistakes. He
    had, for example, ordered special biscuits fortified with Plasmon, the concentrated milk protein already tried on Discovery ... Besides
    7½oz. of pemmican and 16oz. of Plasmon biscuits per man each day,
    there was some cheese, cocoa, pure Plasmon, tea, oats and sugar, making 34oz. in all. There was too much carbohydrate, too little fat, and none of the as yet undiscovered vitamin C.' (R. Huntford, Shackleton,
    London: 1985, p.251)

    The biscuit from the Nimrod expedition lives particularly in the memory from Frank Wild's anecdote jotted in his journal as the Polar Party,
    starving and ill, came back onto the Barrier from the plateau in
    January 1909: 'They were living off pemmican and pony meat, with only
    four thin biscuits each a day now [having made the food depôt on the Barrier]. Underlining every word, Wild wrote on the last day of January that Shackleton "privately forced upon me his one breakfast biscuit,
    and would have given me another tonight had I allowed him. I do not
    suppose that anyone else in the world can thoroughly realise how much
    generosity and sympathy was shown by this; I DO by GOD I shall never
    forget it. Thousands of pounds would not have bought that biscuit".'
    (op. cit., p.280)

    Pre-Lot Text