Rare Original 1910 Explorers Club Luncheon Menu; held in honor of and signed by Ernest H. Shackleton in addition to Explorers Club President Robert E. Peary
Ernest Henry Shackleton and Robert E. Peary Signed Explorers Club Luncheon Menu.
Shackleton, Ernest Henry and Robert E. Peary.$10,000.00
Item Number: 100132
Rare original dinner menu from the historic luncheon tendered to Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton by The Explorers Club at the Hotel Astor, New York on Tuesday, March 29th 1910. Small octavo, original wrappers, one-page menu with a black and white portrait of Shackleton tipped in. Signed by Shackleton, “E.H. Shackleton” and American Admiral Robert E. Peary, “R.E. Peary” below the portrait. American Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary made several expeditions to the Arctic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is widely recognized as the first person to reach the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909. Nearly one year prior, on January 16th 1909, Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition team established a new record Farthest South latitude 97 geographical miles from the magnetic South Pole, the largest advance to the pole in exploration history. Although the party fell short of reaching the true pole, they returned home to public honors from King Edward VII and the Royal Geographical Society. In March of 1910, Shackleton arrived in New York where he was honored by the Explorer’s Club of which Peary had recently become President. The luncheon was described by The New York Times as “…an informal one, designed to give Sir Ernest an opportunity of meeting the men in this country who have worked on the same lines as he has. Commander Peary, President of the club, was in the chair and hanging on the wall behind him between the Stars and Stripes and the blue ensign of the British Royal Naval Reserve, in which Shackleton is a Lieutenant, were the sledge and snowshoes used in the North Pole expedition.” In near fine condition. An exceptional association linking two great leaders of polar exploration.
In 1909, Shackleton's Nimrod expedition made it to within 97 miles of the South Pole, experiencing along the way every hardship possible, then returning to their wooden ship before the ice crushed it. On Shackleton's return home, public honors were quickly forthcoming and soon afterwards he published his legendary expedition account, Heart of the Antarctic. In the period immediately after his return, Shackleton engaged in a strenuous schedule of public appearances, lectures, and business ventures. None were successful, however, so in 1914, he published details of a new expedition grandly titled the "Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition" aboard the ship Endurance which would make the first crossing of the Antarctic continent—1800 miles from sea to sea. 1915 turned into an unusually icy year in Antarctica and after drifting trapped in the ice for nine months, the Endurance was crushed in the ice on October 27th. “Shackleton now showed his supreme qualities of leadership…with five companions he made a voyage of 800 miles in a 22-foot boat through some of the stormiest seas in the world, crossed the unknown lofty interior of South Georgia, and reached a Norwegian whaling station on the north coast. After three attempts… Shackleton succeeded (30 August 1916) in rescuing the rest of the Endurance party and bringing them to South America” (DNB).