British photographic history

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Scott prints for sale for the First time in a Century

Last on public view in 1913, this is the largest collection of Ponting’s original carbon prints assembled for nearly a century!
The Atlas Gallery, Marylebone, will unveil a major collection of rare vintage photographs – the original prints taken from the negatives in 1913 - by 
Herbert G. Ponting, the official expedition photographer of the infamous British Antarctic “Terra Nova” Expedition to the South Pole, lead by Captain Robert Falcon Scott between 1910–1912.  In total over 50 images by Herbert Ponting and Captain Scott will be on display.

The unique selling exhibition - The Great White South - will offer collectors the opportunity to purchase these valuable antique Carbon Print Photographs, which range in price from £12,000 - £27,000. The original 1913 carbon prints on display, which are in exceptional condition, have not been exhibited publicly for nearly 100 years, and many remain in their original Edwardian frames.  The Atlas Gallery show is the largest exhibition of Ponting’s original Polar photographic prints assembled since first being displayed at the Fine Art Exhibitions between 1913 and 1915.

The Atlas Gallery’s selling exhibition is from the collection of antique photography collector Richard Kossow, who started collecting Ponting’s polar photographs over 25 years ago.  Kossow, a Literary Dealer, had his interest in Ponting’s photography sparked through his research into the diaries and memoirs of the Edwardian Polar explorers.  After finding many of Ponting’s original prints in appalling states of decay, he devoted his collecting towards finding Ponting’s best-preserved original photographs, wherever possible in their original frames. These museum-quality works are exclusively represented by the ATLAS Gallery.

In addition to the collection of the original carbon prints produced in 1913, there will also be a new limited edition collection of 48 platinum prints, published in a special portfolio in association with the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, available for purchase.  Handmade from Ponting’s original negatives, the prints will be exhibited with specially commissioned essays by experts including author and explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, which provide a fascinating insight into the incredible story behind these remarkable photographs.  The platinum print portfolios are priced at £25,000 for the complete portfolio with individual prints from around £800.

The official press release, including the price list, can be found here, and details of the exhibition here.

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Comment by Michael Wong on January 26, 2012 at 21:05

Hi John,

Thanks! It's definitely not coincidental, but a sign! You just have to ensure the British pound keeps dropping against the mighty US dollar.

If not, do take a trip to London to view them in its glory. If the gallery allows photography, I'll try and take some and post them here, to tempt you :)

It does look like a great exhibition, together with this one at the National History Museum.

All the best,

Michael

Comment by John Minichiello on January 26, 2012 at 17:09

Hi Michael,

This exhibit is very timely to me as just this past fall I was in a bookstore here in the USA where I came across, and purchased, David Hempelman-Adams' excellent book "The Heart of the Great Alone". The book is primarily about Scott's last ill-fated journey to Antarctica, as well as Shackleton's journeys to the same, and the photographer's who accompanied them.

The book is illustrated with beautiful reproductions of Ponting's extraordinary photographs, and I've EVEN allowed myself to daydream about owning one or two of them, preferably in original frames. Lo and behold, along comes this show where there's a whole roomful of originally framed photographs to choose from!

That's the good news. The bad news is that I'm not a Rockefeller and don't have fifteen to twenty seven thousand pounds (not even dollars!) to purchase one. I'll just have to content myself with the book's reproductions, and I stongly recommend it to all who are interested.

But it IS nice to see Ponting's gorgeous work in excellent states of preservation in a gallery setting. Particularly on this one hundredth year commemoration of Scott's death.

Best,

John Minichiello

Providence, RI

USA

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