JEWELLERY, DECORATIVE & FINE ARTS AUCTION Tuesday, 5 December 2023 - 10:00 AM start
A 1958 black and white photograph of the Endeavour I crew photographing Emperor penguins in the Antarctic,
photographer unknown. 230 x 300mm. Note: Sir Edmund Hillary led the New Zealand component of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (TAE) in 1955-58, under the overall command of the British explorer Dr Vivian Fuchs. The Commonwealth-sponsored expedition successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole, on 2 March 1958. This photograph believed to have been taken shortly after that crossing. The New Zealanders supported the expedition by setting up Scott Base, and laying food and fuel depots for the British crossing party. Then, against the instructions of the Ross Sea Committee, Hillary led a ‘dash to the pole'. On 4 January 1958 they became the first party to reach the South Pole overland since Scott in 1912, and the first to reach it in motor vehicles. Despite this, and his party's contribution to the overall success of the expedition, Hillary faced some criticism for allegedly putting adventure ahead of the expedition's scientific aims. But in New Zealand the ‘dash to the pole’ reinforced his position as a national hero.