Irving's Franklin Expedition medal valued at $49,000 ahead of sale



2015-06-26 13:54:12

Irving's Franklin Expedition medal valued at $49,000 ahead of sale

The medal was presented to John Irving, an officer on the Franklin Expedition (1845-1848)

Paul Fraser Collectibles,Saturday 13September 2014

Christie's is to offer an arctic medal presented posthumously to lieutenant John Irving, a member of the doomed Franklin Northwest Passage Expedition.

The lot, valued at 20,000-30,000 ($32,420-48,630), will feature in the Travel, Science and Natural History auction on October 8.

John Irving The medal is offered along witha silhouette of Irving

The expedition was intended to find a route between the Atlantic and the Pacific via the Arctic. Led by Sir John Franklin, two ships (the Erebus and the Terror) left England in May 1845 and were last seen in July.

It emerged some years later that they had become trapped in ice near King William Island in Canada in 1846. Many of the crew died from starvation and those that survived later attempted to walk to Montreal Island but were lost along the way.

Irving's grave was discovered by an American search team in 1879. A silver medal awarded for mathematics by the Royal Naval College in 1830 lying next to the site identified the bones as belonging to him.

They were returned to the UK and reinterred at his family home in Scotland.

Earlier this week it was announced that Canada had discovered the wreck of one of the ships.

We have this handwritten letter from polar explorer Ernest Shackleton available.

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