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Finnesko with Crampons.

Stock Code 108768

Circa 1935.

Original price £750.00 - Original price £750.00
Original price £0.00
£750.00 - £750.00
Current price £750.00
Classic Ponting photograph from Captain Scott's Terra Nova expedition (1910-1913), showing a pair of finnesko (boots made by the Sami people of reindeer hide), which due to the soft nature of the hide will not freeze solid as boot leather would do in the Antarctic temperatures.

'No furs were worn on this expedition, as they are very heavy, and as time goes on become more and more so from the ice which collects in them. Two suits of thick woollen underwear, covered with a thin wind-proof gabardine material were found to be sufficient to keep out the most intense cold. A helmet of the same material, with a shield to keep the side wind off the face, and a woollen helmet under it, kept the head warm. Finnesko, or Reindeer-skin boots, with three or four pairs of thick woollen socks inside them, served for the feet.' (Extract from Fine Art Society's catalogue of Ponting's photographs of the 1910-1918 British Antarctic Expedition).

The Terra Nova expedition was supposed to be the high-water mark of the Golden Age of Antarctic exploration; led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott, the expedition was to have been the first to reach the South Pole, marking the event with the planting of the Union Jack flag. However the more professionally equipped Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen got there first. Nevertheless Scott's expedition will always be the one best remembered on account of the tremendous courage and bravery shown by Scott and his companions, Wilson, Bowers, Oates, and Evans on their return from the Pole in appalling conditions - perhaps best exemplified by Lawrence 'Titus' Oates who walked from the tent into a blizzard whilst suffering from frostbite and gangrene, knowing that he was not going to survive the journey but hoping that his self-sacrifice might help the others survive.

The photographs were originally published by the Fine Art Society in 1914 in larger format using a different process. It is difficult to date images such as ours, printed at a later date from the original negatives, however based on external evidence from previous examples we date the present image to circa 1935.

Silver gelatin print, mounted, framed and glazed, captioned below image on mount. Image size: 188 x 239 mm; framed: 256 x 302 mm.


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Finnesko with Crampons.

PONTING, Herbert G.

Stock code: 108768



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