The catalogue also includes some important ‘lasts’, including a set of photographic prints from Sven Hedin’s last expedition, ‘The Sino Swedish Expedition’ of 1927-1935, which crossed the Gobi Desert. These images by Paul Lieberenz, the expedition photographer, depict camel caravans and horse carriages travelling through the desert, mountain passes, and the Jollbar Khan’s castle at Hami.
An important and very frank twelve-page letter of 1865 by David Livingstone discusses other African explorers and condemns Richard Burton as ‘an awful ruffian’, adding ‘I don’t believe that Burton was at Mecca’. Some ten weeks after writing it, Livingstone departed for his last expedition, during which he searched for the source of the Nile and was relieved by Henry Morton Stanley. He would never return to Britain, and died in Africa on 30 April 1873.