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Alice's Adventures in Antarctica: Carroll's books on board Scott's "Discovery" expedition offered
These treasured editions of Carroll’s best work, on the market for the first time, were kept on the mess deck of Scott’s ‘Discovery’ expedition to Antarctica. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- The timeless books ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (1889) and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ (1901) are featured in the Polar II sale at Bonhams on 4th December at Knightsbridge (estimate £2,000-£4,000).

These treasured editions of Carroll’s best work, on the market for the first time, were kept on the mess deck of Scott’s ‘Discovery’ expedition to Antarctica. They were available for reading by the non-officer class to ease the difficult living conditions on an icy expedition and would most likely have provided an imaginative escape from the harsh surroundings.

Also included in the sale is an electroplated silver teapot with a wooden handle dated to 1901 (estimate £8,000-£12,000). Engraved with the emblem, ‘Discovery Antarctic Expedition 1901’, it is a further insight into the attempt to evade the relentless conditions of this polar expedition through home comforts.

These copies of Carroll’s books and the teapot have come to auction directly from the descendents of Reginald Koettlitz, a physician on the ‘Discovery’ expedition. Koettlitz was an established physician and geologist who was the first person to perform a surgical procedure in Antarctica. After his involvement in these voyages he eventually settled in South Africa where he died in 1916 from dysentery.

Other notable lots in the sale include a photograph of ‘Captain Oates & Ponies’ by Herbert George Ponting (estimate £3,000-£5,000) and another chilling photograph of ‘The “Terra Nova’’ at the Ice Foot’ also by Ponting (estimate £7,000-£9,000).

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