Captain Scott south pole photographs set for $63,400 Bonhams auction

Photographs of Captain Scott's tragic expedition to the south pole are set to auction at Bonhams in London later in the month.

Herbert Ponting's documentation of the 1910-1913 expedition will go under the hammer on March 30 to mark the 99th anniversary of Captain Scott's death.

An album of 68 images is expected to achieve around £40,000, in addition to a number of single photographs which have valuations ranging from £600 to £8,000.

The photographs offer a haunting record of the expedition, which successfully reached the south pole, but some five weeks after Norwegian rival Amundsen.

The five-man party failed to return, as frostbite, hunger and exhaustion overtook them.

Ponting's photographs document 14 months at Cape Evans, between 1911 and 1912, where the expedition prepared for the march on the pole.

He left the expedition in February 1912 along with eight others, as the rest of the party headed further south.

Captain Scott photographs
Valued at £3,000-4,000, the ‘Southern Party’ about to leave for the pole

"[The pictures demonstrate] beauty linked to tragedy - one of the great tragedies - and the beauty is inconceivable for it is endless and runs to eternity," wrote Apsley Cherry-Garrard, one of Ponting's colleagues on the expedition.

The photographs are joined at the auction by the first of the farewell letters written in the Antarctic by Captain Scott, as he realised that he and his men would not survive.

A first edition presentation copy of Apsley Cherry-Garrard's book, The Worst Journey in the World, will also feature.

We're proud to have a signed letter from Scott's rival Ernest Shackleton, written to his wife less than a year before his death.

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