Platinum Print5. The Nightwatchman’s Story
- Limited edition collection of hand crafted, made-to-order platinum prints
- Made using Frank Hurley's original glass and celluloid negatives
- Exhibition-grade complete with certificate of provenance
- In partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
- Only available to purchase through Shackleton and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
- High-quality and high-security packaging
- Secure worldwide shipping
Beset in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea from February 1915, Shackleton converted the Endurance to the status of ‘Winter Quarters’ before planning to resume his expedition plans to reach the Antarctic continent with the return of the sun. Life onboard ship consisted of routine security. The role of the nightwatchman was important: checking the ship for damage, ensuring that she came to no risk from fire or ice. As reward, the nightwatchman received extra rations of food and tobacco, and was therefore popular with other crew members around the stove where tales and stories were shared long into the night. © Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Shackleton’s enduring legacy is due, in no small part, to his recruitment of Frank Hurley as expedition photographer. Hurley’s astonishingly clear photographs of the ‘Endurance’ expedition allow us an extraordinary sense of connection with the expedition and the crew’s journey from optimism to disaster, deprivation and redemption.
Drawn from the Royal Geographical Society's Collection of over 500,000 historic photographs, we have selected some of the earliest and most iconic exploration images taken by Frank Hurley, the official photographer and filmmaker commissioned by Sir Ernest Shackleton to document his ‘Endurance’ expedition of 1914-18, to release a limited edition collection of platinum prints.
Using the historic negatives that were saved from the sinking ship by Hurley, and carried on that remarkable journey; to the safety of Elephant Island and then following the rescue of his men by Shackleton, back to London, the original glass plate ‘survivors’ have been been scanned by hand using the latest equipment and techniques to create the highest resolution digital negatives. This has enabled the creation of the first prints made using the negatives since they were last handled by Hurley himself in the early 1920s.
Each print is made to order by master print-maker Georges Charlier and his team from Salto-Ulbeek in Belgium using the rare platinum process. Specially made drawing paper is coated with a light-sensitive emulsion containing platinum salts using a special brush. The paper is carefully dried and exposed to UV light through one or more full size contact negatives. This careful and laborious process means each print takes almost eight hours to complete.
When compared to conventional black and white silver prints, platinum prints exhibit an expanded tonal range, three-dimensionality, and a uniquely luminous, painterly quality which draws out the finest detail.
Each print comes with a certificate identifying the print number in each strictly limited edition. As well as their aesthetic quality, platinum prints are among the most permanent objects produced by man, museum-grade reproductions that will not deteriorate in quality over time. The platinum metals are more stable than gold, and a platinum image is part of the fine paper on which it is printed.
This limited collection of ‘Endurance’ platinum prints provide the collector with a unique opportunity to be a part of the centenary year in which Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship was re-discovered over 3,000 metres below the surface of the Weddell Sea.
Platinum prints are made-to-order and are therefore non-refundable, learn more here.