21 September 2005
EDWARD ADRIAN WILSON (1872-1912)
Autograph letter signed ('Yours ever, Bill') to Charles Royds ('My dear old Charlie boy'), Winter Quarters, Cape Evans, 8 January 1911, on paper with embossed British Antarctic Expedition vignette stamp, four pages, 8vo, on a bifolium; autograph envelope.
Evans writes to an old Discovery expedition comrade with a survey of the prospects for Scott's last expedition. Evans is relentlessly positive: 'We have had some real good luck', the party is 'a splendid lot, genuinely keen on the main show & most unselfish. Our hut is most comfortable'; he reports on plans for depôt laying - 'I shall be once more tent mate with Scott -- who is now always known as "the Owner"' -- and on his intentions for July for 'a night trip to Cape Crozier round the South side of the island to catch the Emperors laying eggs', before 'in October we start for the Pole -- and return, with it, I hope before the ship leaves in March 1912', adding that it is an 'open question' whether they will return then: 'I hope the Owner will go home in April 1912 -- then I shall return with him. If however he stops for another year, I shall also stop with him', ending with a rider that 'these are not public facts, so use them with discretion', and comments on his own wellbeing.
A fine letter, full of the optimism of unfulfilled hopes: the Cape Crozier trip was to turn into the nightmare journey described by Cherry Garrard as 'the worst journey in the world'; and March 1912 was to bring only Evans' and Scott's deaths. The remainder of the expedition did stay on until early in 1913, when they discovered the fate of the Polar party. Charles W. Rawson Royds was First Lieutenant and meteorologist on the Discovery expedition: he and Wilson were close friends on the expedition; their duets were a highlight of the ship's concerts during the polar winter; Royds had accompanied Wilson on his first journey to the Emperor Penguin rookeries at Cape Crozier in September 1903.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
As Christie’s offers 178 works from his personal collection, the illustrator of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory offers us a glimpse of his creative process
Christie’s is auctioning some of Thomas Chippendale's most iconic designs, 300 years since the birth of Britain’s most famous furniture maker