1914. "The Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914–1917 is considered to be the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Conceived by Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition was an attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. After Roald Amundsen's South Pole expedition in 1911, this crossing remained, in Shackleton's words, the 'one great main object of Antarctic journeyings'.* Shackleton's expedition failed to accomplish this objective, but became recognized instead as an epic feat of endurance."
Shackleton's ship "Endurance" was locked in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, eventually crushed and sank, stranding its 28-man complement on the ice. After months in makeshift camps, the party took to the lifeboats to reach the inhospitable, uninhabited Elephant Island. Shackleton and five others then made an 800-mile (1,300 km) open-boat journey in the James Caird to reach South Georgia. From there, Shackleton was eventually able to mount a rescue of the men waiting on Elephant Island and bring them home without loss of life. The remarkably-preserved wreck of Endurance was recently discovered on the seafloor in 2022. (Wikipedia)
This is an expedition check is drawn on Lloyds Bank Limited, St. James's St., S.W. with the small stamp 'The Shackleton Collection' in the white margin under signature. Made out to Messrs Stephenson & Co., in the amount of £5, dated 1st July 1914, signed by Shackleton & Fred R.W. White, endorsed with the words "Stephenson & Co." Printed in black, pink and orange. 6 3/4 x 3 3/8". It bears a squiggled line through signature, a bank stamp across the front of the check, is crossed vertically with two lines (as done by banks at the time). From the Shackleton family, sold at Christie's in the 1990's.
*Shackleton 1919, p. xi, via Wikipedia. Item #17126