One of the Dog Teams.
PONTING Herbert (1913.)
AN ENDURING IMAGE FROM THE HEROIC AGE
Gelatin silver print measuring 335 by 455mm. A couple of worm holes expertly restored, lightly toned and silvered around the mount, Ponting's debossed signature on bottom right corner. Framed & glazed, original Fine Art Society gold moulding beneath the glass, facsimile frame. Original high-acid backing board replaced, label retained. Glass replaced with UV resistant. Fine Arts Society label to verso captioned in pen, numbered 34. London, Fine Art Society,
An original print from one of Herbert Ponting's exhibitions at The Fine Arts Society, held in the years after his return from the ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-13. Considered at the time of the expedition to be the finest outdoor cameraman in the world, Ponting's photographs from the Antarctic continent are an enduringly iconic record of the Heroic Age. The Fine Art Society exhibited the prints at their New Bond Street gallery, and in a touring exhibition around the country, where they could be purchased in sizes ranging from 15 to 29 inches.
This photograph shows Dr. Atkinson manning his dog team, landing stores from the Terra Nova in the Ross Dependency of Antarctica.
A particularly pertinent image: Dr. Atkinson took over from Cecil Meares as chief dog driver for the expedition in January 1912, and has come under criticism (especially from Apsley Cherry-Garrard) for not following Scott's parting instruction as he left for the pole. Scott's edict was that the dog team commence a third journey south in February of 1912 in order that they might restock the One Ton Depot and carry on to meet the returning polar party. Debate still continues as to whether the adherence to this instruction could have saved the lives of Captain Scott, Captain Oates, Lt. Bowers and PO Evans. As it was though, Atkinson opted to unload further fresh supplies from the returned Terra Nova in February of 1912 (as depicted in this photograph), rather than commencing south, a move which Cherry-Garrard in his Worst Journey in the World characterised as a "mistake". It wasn't until October of 1912 that Atkinson finally did launch a search party for the by then long absented polar party, ultimately finding the tent on November 11th. The party had perished on 29th March.
SPRI: P2005/5/856.; Exhibition of the Photographic Pictures of Mr. Herbert G. Ponting F.R.G.S. Fine Art Society, 1914. No. 34.
Stock Code: 228394