25 September 2001
Alexander Hepburne Macklin (1889-1967)
Elephant Island relics: a brown leather attaché case including an autograph manuscript list of contents of three cases of medical supplies on ITAE headed paper, 1 page, 4to (section torn away), folded within a similar blank sheet, both within a folded sheet of grease-proof paper; two pages (pp.331-332) from vol. IX the Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.); a boxed case of four medical scalpels, three (132mm. long) stamped 'Weiss London', one (141mm. long) stamped 'Allen & Hanburys London', the fitted box with gilt stamp 'J. Weiss & Son/28 Oxford St./London'; a home-made canvas and flannel stitched case containing a collection of stainless steel surgical needles, various shapes and sizes, the case with mother-of-pearl button fastening, inscription 'Needles' in ink; J. Cary (manufacturer), general purpose thermometer (173mm. long), alcohol filled and calibrated from -80° to 100°c, etched maker's name and address, in cylindrical brass case; a collection of wooden pegs (each approx. 18mm. long) within a blubber soot stained envelope; and the Yelcho medallion, a lozenge shaped commemorative brass medallion, the obverse with a view of the Yelcho beneath the date '3.IX.1916' and '"Yelcho" Chile' below, all in low relief within a rope-work border with ring hole, 25 x 25mm.
Alexander Hepburne Macklin (1889-1967), and thence by descent to the present owners.
A small collection of Macklin's effects, including some of his surgeon's expedition medical instruments and precious relics from the Endurance expedition. For the manuscript list of contents of the Endurance medical cases see also the journal (lot 195) and two medical cases (lots 196 and 197). Pages from the Encyclopaedia Britannica were amongst the fairly limited reading rescued from the Endurance library and provided some intellectual stimulation in the long months in the camps on the sea ice and on Elephant Island. A further page (on scurvy) is with his diary (lot 195). The wooden pegs were painstakingly crafted by Macklin in the hut on Elephant Island ('Tuesday July 4th...I repaired my boots with pieces of leather cut from a hand bag and secured then to the sole with small wooden pegs which I cut from the sides of a Nutford box. It was a tedious job for I required in all about 200 pegs, but these boots are my only foot gear and so I am taking care of them...' Macklin, journal entry).
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