Herbert George Ponting (1871-1935) and others
The British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913 : a collection of 73 mounted gelatin silver contact prints: including 66 by Ponting, with the photographer's negative numbers on the reverse of the grey card mounts, some inscribed with captions (by Edward Wilson's father or sister Lilian), the prints 4¾ x 6¾in. (12.1 x 17.2cm.); 5 from the southern journey by Bowers and others including a camp on the Barrier with the pony wall, Amundsen's tent at the South Pole, and (3) of the southern party posing with the Union and sledging flags at the South Pole, the prints 2 7/8 x 4in. (7.5 x 10.2cm.); a photograph of the southern party's inner tent, the print 2 1/8 x 3 9/16in. (5.4 x 9cm.), as it was found, taken by a member of the search party, and a photograph of the memorial cross at Cape Evans, the print 6¼ x 4½in. (15.8 x 11.4cm.); with a typescript letter by Commander Evans (Edward Ratcliffe G.R. Evans, Lord Mountevans, 1880-1957) signed to Edward Wilson's sister ('Dear Mrs Rendall'), London, 9 July 1913, on black-edged British Antarctic Expedition notepaper regarding Mrs Rendall's order of photographs [included in this lot] for her father [Dr Edward Thomas Wilson] 'My only duty is to see that they are not published before the book comes out as it might spoil the sale of the work, the proceeds of which are to go to Lady Scott. ...I enclose a letter to Messrs Raines giving you full power to order whatever photographs you wish...' 1 page, 4to. Provenance: Ordered by E.A. Wilson's sister, Mrs Lilian Rendall, for her father Dr. Edward Thomas Wilson (1832-1918), July 1913.
Mrs Lilian Rendall, and thence by descent to the present owner.
A FINE EARLY SET OF PRINTS WITH IMPORTANT PROVENANCE.
The Terra Nova docked in Cardiff on 14 June 1913. Lieutenant Evans, Scott's second in command, had assumed command of the expedition with Scott's death, was promoted commander and took charge of the affairs of the expedition once they returned to England. Lilian's order for prints for her father came within a month of the Terra Nova's return, prior to the publication of many of the images in Scott's Last Expedition (1913) and ahead of Ponting's selling exhibition of photographs of the expedition at The Fine Art Society, London.
The present collection of contact prints shares the format of print specially provided for some of the expedition members and their relatives. Albums with the contact prints mounted on grey card leaves with typed and numbered captions seem to have been the standard for those closely connected to the expedition (see for example Evans' own album of 56 contact prints, Christie's, 17 Sept. 1999, lot 252, and the unprovenanced album of 442 contact prints, Christies, 21 Sept. 2000, lot 101).