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Sir Ernest Shackleton medals raise £585,000 at auction

Sir Ernest Shackleton's medals Image copyright Christie's
Image caption A lot of four British medals collected £230,500

A number of medals awarded to Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton have raised £585,000 at auction.

Fifteen British and foreign awards contained in 12 lots went under the hammer at Christie's in London.

A lot of four British medals easily surpassed the £30,000 estimate to sell for £230,500.

The decorations were the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Officer of the Order of the British Empire, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Shackleton was knighted as a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of the 1907-1909 Nimrod Expedition when he reached the furthest south ever explored.

Sir Ernest's Chilean Order of Merit beat the guide price of £4,000 to £6,000 to go for £74,500.

The medal recognises the survival and rescue of his crew after the ship Endurance was crushed by ice in 1915.

A Royal Geographical Society's Silver Medal, awarded for the the successful British Antarctic expedition aboard Discovery, more than doubled the £40,000 estimate to sell for £86,500.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Shackleton led three British expeditions to the Antarctic

Born in Co Kildare in 1874, Shackleton was aiming to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent on his fourth expedition when he died of a heart attack off South Georgia in 1922.

The medals were sold as part of Christie's Travel, Science and Natural History auction.

Nick Lambourn, director of Christie's London, said: "We are thrilled with the results of Shackleton's decorations.

"The 15 medals sold together for over £580,000, each soaring above their pre-sale estimates and demonstrating how Shackleton's legacy continues to capture imaginations today.

"The sale continues Christie's tradition of selling polar artefacts on behalf of the families of the great explorers from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration."

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