22/03/2012 Bonhams Polar Sale, London 30 March 2012
The famous explorers Capt. Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen have gone into legend for their epic race to the South Pole. Bonhams’ forthcoming ‘Polar Sale’ catalogues some of the artefacts from the expeditions of 100 years ago.
Of course it was the Norwegian, Amundsen, who was first to the South Pole in December 1911, with Capt. Scott’s party dying from exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold on its return from the Pole in January 1912.
The 30 March auction at Bonhams’ Knightsbridge saleroom includes many items associated with Polar expedition, either owned by Scott or his party or by other travelling companions. There’s an ‘Eastman Kodak Co. No. 3 Cartridge Kodak’, roll film camera’, for example, used by John Donald Morrison, to record life on the Discovery during Scott’s first expedition, estimated at £300 – 400.
Morrison’s ‘1½ inch Refracting Telescope, with leather bound tube and three brass drawers’ (£800 – 1,200) is also included in the sale.
And ‘Captain Scott's dressing box, by Gray and Sons, Piccadilly, containing an assorted collection of ephemeral items, including tie pins, a matchbox and buttons’ at £8,000 - 10,000, is a poignant reminder of the human side of the tragic hero of popular legend.
There are also many letters and books related to the expeditions, including a first edition of Scott’s ‘The Voyage of the Discovery’ for £1,200 – 1,500, and an ‘Autograph pictorial postcard’, £500 – 700, from Scott’s second-in-command, Edward Evans.
The photographs in the sale include a ‘Photograph taken by Lt. Bowers showing Amundsen's tent at the South Pole, surrounded by Scott, Wilson, Oates and Evans’, £3,000 – 5,000 with other, assorted items.