Photos of Doomed South Pole Expedition Up for Auction

·Lead Editor
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One of the photos of the British Antarctic Expedition up for auction (Christie’s)

An upcoming travel-themed auction at Christie’s in London gives a fascinating look into a doomed early 20th Century British expedition to the South Pole, which ended with the explorers dead.

Up for auction on April 28 are 11 photos taken by Captain Robert F. Scott as he led the British Antarctic Expedition. The pictures, rarely seen until now, tell the tale of the adventure before it turned tragic.

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One of the photos of the British Antarctic Expedition up for auction (Christie’s)

In June of 1910, Scott and 65 men began their quest to be the first reach the South Pole. By early 1912 — the final push of the journey — the “Polar Party” set to trek to the southernmost point in the world was made up of just Scott and four others: Edgar Evans, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates, and Dr. Edward Wilson. Though a Norwegian team reached the South Pole first, Scott and his team carried on.

In the end, artifacts were the only things left of the expedition. On their way back from the South Pole in March of 1912, Scott and his surviving men encountered unexpected extreme weather conditions — unusually freezing temperatures and blizzards. Knowing there was no way out, a dying Scott wrote eight letters to family, friends, and the public detailing his group’s demise.  

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One of the photos of the British Antarctic Expedition up for auction (Christie’s)

The photos coming up for auction include pictures taken earlier in the expedition — documenting the building of the expedition’s base hut and the winter of 1911 on Ross Island — as well as the final long, fateful summer’s march to the South Pole, according to Christie’s.

“Scott’s negatives and camera survived this expedition,” writes Christie’s. “Very few were published at the time and many remained unseen and unknown, until recently. The photographs reveal the rigors of the extraordinary journey in a sublime landscape.”

The pictures are expected to sell for approximately £30,000 (about $40,000).

Related: Did You Know They Move the South Pole Every Year? 8 Icy-Cool Antarctic Traditions

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Maori pendant up for auction (Christie’s)

In addition to the British Antarctic Expedition photos, other travel-related objects for sale at the Christie’s auction include a model of the now-defunct British Airways Concorde (estimated to go for £6,000 to £9,000, which is about $9,000 to $12,000), a Maori hei tiki pendant from New Zealand (valued at £8,000 to £12,000, or approximately $11,000 to $16,000), a 34-star Civil War-era U.S. flag (£10,000 to £15,000 or $13,000 to $20,000), and more. 

WATCH: A Thrilling Journey to the Antarctic (Video)

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