British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913
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British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913

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British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913

Able Seaman Joseph LEESE (1884-1948).-L.H. HAGEN & Co, of Christiania (manufacturers). A pair of wood skis, [1910], length: 217.5cm., width: 9.5cm. (narrowing to 7.5cm.). with metal and leather bindings, one with an added foot-pad of seal-skin?. (One ski broken in two and crudely repaired about 30cm. from the tip, the same ski with an irregularly shaped 32cm. section lacking from the rear.)

[With:] A bamboo ski pole, [Christiania: 1910], length: 141.5cm., with rattan, leather and metal basket, iron ferrule and spike.

[And:]
A Souvenir of the Dinner at the Royal Hotel, Cardiff, June 16th, 1913, given to the Officers and Crew of the "Terra Nova", British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913. Cardiff: Western Mail, [1913 or later]. Oblong 12° (12.5 x 17cm.) 24ll. printed recto only. 2 full-page illustrations, 22pp. facsimile signatures, each page outlined in red. Original cream wrappers, upper cover printed in blue and red with title (as above) with a decorative surround, imprint in blue on lower cover (covers soiled).

A 4pp. menu Antarctic Club Fourth annual re-union dinner President: Lt-Cdr L.C. Bernacchi.. Café Royal, Regent Street, London.. Saturday, January 9th, 1932, 16.5 x 10.6cm., upper cover printed in blue and silver, 2pp. interior in blue, lower cover blank but signed by 13 participants (Edward McKenzie, Joseph Lees [sic.], H.G. Ponting, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Frank Debenham, Francis Drake, 'Teddy' Evans, W.W. Archer, Thomas Williamson, William Lashly and John Mather), the upper cover additionally inscribed with McKenzie's name and address. (Soiled and spotted).

Four machine-print photographs, [1912 and later], including a half-length postcard portrait of Scott (13.7 x 8.7cm.), a full-length postcard portrait of Leese (12 x 8.8cm.), standing in a garden dressed in full Antarctic protective clothing holding the skis detailed above, with early pencilled inscription beneath, two press photographs, supplied by 'Central Press' of London (with various ink stamps on the versos), one of four scientists working in the ward-room of the 'Terra Nova'? (24.7 x 20.3cm.), the second a group portrait of nine expedition members on a beach (24.7 x 20.3cm.). (The last two photographs torn and creased with some loss).

Joseph Leese's pine trunk [circa 1910], of rectangular form with domed lid, covered in calf, bound in black 'japanned' sheet-metal with wooden banding, black metal clasps and hinges, brass lock, metal wheels to base, the interior lid with coloured ribbon lattice, paper-lined throughout. - 17 x 19¼ x 30¼in. (43 x 49 x 76.5cm.); and two related newspaper cuttings, one recording the death of Ponting, the other the death of Joseph Leese.

Provenance: Joseph Leese (1884-1948), and by descent to the present owner.

Leese, who had joined the Royal Navy at fifteen, served as Able Seaman aboard the Terra Nova throughout the expedition and took part in both the reception dinner laid on by the city of Cardiff on the expedition's return to Britain and the later reunions arranged under the auspices of the Antarctic Club, which was founded in 1929. He was awarded the Antarctic Medal and bar, and remained in the Navy until 1914. (12)
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