Here's another piece of memorabilia from the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration for your enjoyment. This time it is a menu card from a famous dinner held to honour Shackleton on returning from his British Antarctic Expedition (1907-1909), known today as the Nimrod Expedition.
This dinner was a defining event in the fraught relationship between Scott and Shackleton. In proposing his rival's health, Scott indirectly referred to the state of near physical helplessness to which Shackleton had been reduced on the Discovery expedition by remarking: 'If I had a hand in rocking his Antarctic cradle, I am very proud of it.' The result was that Shackleton left abruptly after the dinner and did not return. 'Even in the determinedly convivial surroundings of the Savage Club, Shackleton did not wish to be talked of as a baby, especially by the man against whom he had fought so hard to erase the stigma of weakness.' (Roland Huntford, Shackleton, 1985, 1996 reprint, p. 305).
Savage Club house dinner Capt. R. F. Scott in the chair June 10th 1909 Welcome to Lieut. E. H. Shackleton
The item is a pictorial printed menu on card (35. 5 x 31 cm. approx.) with scenes by John Hassall and Charles Dixon.
John Hassall (21 May 1868 - 8 March 1948) was an English illustrator, well known for his advertisements and poster designs. He was a member of the Savage Club. Charles Edward Dixon (8 December 1872 - 12 September 1934) was a British maritime painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, whose work was highly successful and regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy. Several of his paintings are held by the National Maritime Museum and he was a regular contributing artist to magazines and periodicals.
This item is for sale from Shapero Rare Books (London). A steal at £2,000? Available on their website here.