Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The items were consigned for sale by direct descendants of Captain Thomas Newland Rosser (1857-1935), dockmaster when the whaling ship set sail from Bute Docks, Cardiff, in June 1910.

Rosser met Scott on several occasions before the expedition’s departure and a signed menu from a complimentary dinner for Scott and the officers of the ship at the Royal Hotel, Cardiff, on June 13, 1910 (two days before sailing) sold for £5100 (against an estimate of £200-400) at Stroud on January 9, plus 18% buyer’s premium.

A typed and handwritten receipt addressed to Rosser for £2 2s 0d, signed by Scott in an original expedition envelope, took £3500 (estimate £100-200).

Scott and a number of companions died during the expedition but a dinner to honour the returning members on Terra Nova’s return to Cardiff took place at the Royal Hotel on June 16, 1913. A signed menu from this dinner made £3500 (estimate £150-300) at the auction.

Penguin's egg

The Adelie penguin egg was presented to Rosser when the ship returned. A London phone bidder bought the egg, in a glazed mahogany case, at £9000, against an estimate of £1000-2000.

An online buyer in the Czech Republic bought much of the ephemera (also see Bid Barometer).

Research into penguin colonies at Cape Crozier was a key part of the expedition for chief scientist Edward Wilson. Three emperor penguin eggs that survived the journey went to the Natural History Museum.

A penguin egg collected by Antarctic photographer Herbert George Ponting (1871-1935) sold at Christie’s in 2000 for a hammer price of £3200. It is believed this egg was collected in 1911 or 1912. Ponting left the Antarctic on the Terra Nova.

See more polar sales in Books and Works on Paper.