Glass slides documenting Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Polar expedition will go on sale in Newcastle
A magic lantern and glass slides bought from a rag and bone man for small change are set to fetch more than £1,000 at auction on Tyneside next week.
The two wooden boxes of more than 100 slides are images of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated expedition in 1910 to the South Pole.
The pictures were taken by Herbert Ponting, who was the first photographer to ever record a polar trip.
They have been put forward for auction at Anderson & Garland’s Newcastle salerooms on March 27 by retired railway worker Michael Wilson, who lives in Blyth, Northumberland.
It was Michael’s father who paid the ragman in Sunderland half a crown (two shillings and six pence) for the lantern and slides.
Now they are expected to fetch between £800 and £1,200.
The slides feature portraits of Captain Scott and his team, pictures of the group at work and rest, ponies, seals, penguins, landscape views and the expedition’s Terra Nova ship.
In the journal of his bid to be the first to reach the South Pole, Scott wrote: “We shall have a cinematograph and photographic record that will be absolutely new in expeditionary work.” Mr Wilson said: “One of my uncle’s friends was the rag and bone man. He knew my dad was interested in odds and ends and he brought these round one day just after the war.
“I think my dad gave him half a crown for it. When my father got the magic lantern and the slides, it was just like another toy but it was educational as well.
“It was interesting so it was always kept over the years. Every time it was used, my father took out the lens and stored it separately. Everything is there and it still works.
“Hopefully they’ll go to a home where they’ll be appreciated for their amazing history.”
The slides are numbered and have a hand written description of each scene across the top of the image.