On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Lucy Coward 4am - 6am
5 January 2022, 09:15
Out of old floorboards, is born a unique string instrument – in tribute to one of the world’s greatest explorers.
A violin has been crafted out of the floorboards that legendary Anglo-Irish explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, once walked on.
The boards were rescued from a skip outside Shackleton’s home, during the refurbishment of the explorer’s former home, in Edinburgh.
Scottish luthier Steve Burnett crafted a string instrument from the wood, to mark the centenary of Shackleton’s death.
Regarded as one of the world’s greatest explorers, Shackleton died on 5 January 1922 while on what would become his final Antarctic expedition.
Burnett said he hoped the violin would be a “symbol of one of the most incredible journeys of survival in human history”.
“I just think with this centenary we have all got to reflect where humanity is now,” Burnett told PA Wire.
“This violin is also a time capsule and a message, through the power of music, and through the connection to Shackleton directly from the floorboards.”
Between the years 1914 and 1917, Shackleton and a crew of 27 men (and one cat) attempted to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. But Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, became trapped in the ice and ten months later sank.
Inside the violin, are inscribed all 28 names of the crew members on the Endurance Antarctic expedition.
Shackleton’s fourth expedition aimed to circle the Antarctic continent, but he died during the trip of a sudden heart attack, in South Georgia. He was buried on the island.