Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912)
A brown calf case with buckles and straps for belt mounting, 13.5 x 15 x 4cm., the interior in two compartments, chamois-lined, containing a metal-topped spirits bottle 12.5 x 5 x 3cm., the top with maker's mark 'J.D. & S.' and an aluminium spirit stove, 12.5 x 8.7 x 3.5cm. with hinged lid and front panel, [all circa 1901-1910]. (3)
Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912); by descent.
Presumably supplementary equipment of Scott's to the cornerstone of the sledger's kit, the Primus stove (for which see the following lot). Fuel for the Primus was kept in 'a tiny flask' (R.F. Scott, The Voyage of the 'Discovery', London, 1907 new edition, I, p.349), poured into the outer cup of the stove to wet the wick, which is then lit and in turn lights the burner of the Primus lamp. 'The spirit is kept handy in a little zinc bottle with a spring tap which allows it to run out when the spring valve is pressed and shuts it off when released. Unfortunately they are not strongly made and ours came to grief on the journey.' (J.D. Back. (ed.), The Quiet Land, The Antarctic Diaries of Frank Debenham, Huntingdon, 1992, p.48.) At the very end the three survivors were low on oil and heating pannikins of cocoa 'cooked over the spirit.' (R.F. Scott, Journal, Monday, March 19. )