Filed under: Auctions
With global warming proceeding briskly along, a collected polar-themed library might be even more of a precious relic. On May 24 Swann Galleries in New York will auction off 160 items from the Polar Library of Dr. John M. Levinson, a past President of the Explorers Club, who has assembled an collection of works on Arctic and Antarctic exploration. One of the star lots in the auction is one of only 65 extant copies of the first book published in Antarctica, Ernest Shackleton's Aurora Australis, 1908. This copy of the book is known as the "Veal" copy because boards from a packing crate containing veal were used to create its cover. This book is inscribed to expedition member George Buckley and signed by Shackleton and others and estimated to sell for $50,000 to $75,000. Other lots include other books by Shackleton, a complete set of first editions of all three of James Cook's Voyages, in nine volumes, copies of The South Polar Times, the first Antarctic newspaper, edited by Shackleton, Louis Charles Bernacchi and Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Charles Swaine's rare Account of a Voyage of Discovery of a North-West Passage from 1748, a set of first editions of each of William E. Parry's four Voyages, and artifacts such as a message buoy used on the 1901-02 Baldwin-Ziegler Expedition to the North Pole via Franz Josef Land and silver and china from various expeditions.