A original and rare bronze medallion issued in Sweden following the discovery of the bodies of the ill-fated Andree Balloon expedition towards the North Pole.
On the 5th and 6th of August 1930, a Norwegian Expedition, on board the “Brtvaag” of Aalesund, which was equipped both for scientific investigation and sealing, when on its way to Franz Joseph Land went on shore on the south-western point of White Island, which forms the easternmost portion of the Svalbard (Spitzbergen) Archipelago. The scientific leader of the expedition was Gunnar Horn, a geologist, representing the Norway Svalbard and Polar Sea Research Institution. On landing, on the 6th August, the sealers of the party discovered the remains of the Swedish Andree Expedition, which had been lost thirty-three years before.
This rare bronze medal was struck by the Swedish Geographical Society in 1930 to commemorate the original expedition and the finding of the bodies and relics. Designed by Alfred Ohison. 56mm in diameter with conjoined busts of the expedition leader Salomon August Andree (1854-1897), Nils Strinberg (1872-1897) and Knut Fraenkel (1870-1897). Their names are engraved along with “Andrees Polarexpedition 1897”
On the reverse is a map of Spitzbergen, Svalbard and Kvitoya with the path of the balloon delineated and a soaring eagle. Engraved around the outside is the expression “De djarva polarforskaranas staft aterbordades till fosterjorden 1930” which translates as “the dust of the polar explorers was taken back to their native land in 1930”. Very good condition albeit with a stain on the bust at front.
Andree was Sweden’s first balloonist. Sweden had fallen behind in terms of Polar exploration and his plans to be the first to fly a hydrogen balloon over the North Pole, expecting to land in Russia or Canada inspired the nation. Unfortunately, things did not work out. The diaries and records recovered were so comprehensive that a book about the tragedy published in 1930 is a pretty special record of events. An English translation was made that same year … Voyager has very good copy with explorer provenance.
Commemorates the incredible attempt of Andree and his fellow balloonists and the eventual resolution of their disappearance