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Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen (1834-1923)
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Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen (1834-1923)

The Baltoro Glacier, Karakoram

Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen (1834-1923)
The Baltoro Glacier, Karakoram
with inscription 'Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen 1834-1923 surveyor and discoverer of glaciers in India' on the reverse
charcoal and watercolour heightened with white on paper
10¾ x 25½in. (27.3 x 64.7cm.)
Dudley Snellgrove
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

There is another closely similar version of the present watercolour, signed and dayted 1872, in the Royal Geographical Society, for which see R.Frison-Roche and S. Jouty, Histoire de l'Alpinisme, Paris, 1996, pp.196-97 (where the view is identified as the Panmah Glacier, Balistan).

Henry Haversham Godwin-Austen, the explorer, geologist and surveyor of India, for whom both a glacier and mountain in the Karakoram were named, learnt topographical drawing from Captain Petley at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.

'In 1856, ... Godwin-Austen was attached to the great trigonometrical survey of India to help with the first survey of Kashmir under Colonel Thomas George Montgomerie, and it was in Kashmir that Godwin-Austen first saw the Karakoram with which his name was afterwards associated. Throughout the Indian mutiny the surveyors continued their work without serious interruption. After working in the Kazi Nag and Pir Panjal ranges Godwin-Austen surveyed, during 1858 and 1859, the Marau-Warwan valley and northern Jammu. In 1860 he was appointed to a permanent post as topographical assistant in the trigonometrical survey and mapped the Shigar and lower Saltoro valleys of Baltistan. ... [The following year] he crossed the Skoro La, beyond Skardu and Shigar, to discover and survey the Karakoram glaciers, the Baltoro (36 miles), the Punmah (28 miles), the Biafo (37 miles), and the Hispar (38 miles), which form one of the greatest glacier systems in the world, together with the mountains that enclose them. During the surveys of such remote districts, officers were instructed not to waste time over the details of uninhabited tracts over 16,000 feet. Godwin-Austen refused to be bound by these instructions; slightly built, but tough, he made several ascents above 20,000 feet, producing beautiful and accurate maps. In 1862 he explored the upper Changchenmo and mapped the northern border of the Pangong district on the western edge of the Tibetan plateau, as well as the upper valleys of the Zaskar ranges, including the numerous glaciers of the Sutlej-Zaskar watershed. The following year he completed the survey of the Pangong Lake and district as far as the Rudok Tibetans permitted. His journal, published as Notes on the Pangong Lake District of Ladakh (1864), gives a valuable account of the morphology of the region. He also contributed to the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society reports on Kashmir (1861) and the Karakoram glaciers (1864).' (DNB)

The Godwin-Austen glacier is located near K2 (the mountain originally named for Godwin-Austen) and meets the Baltoro Glacier at Concordia. The present view shows the sweeping extent of the Baltoro Glacier, at 57 km long, one of the longest glaciers outside the Polar regions.

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