Captain Scott’s Terra Nova painting for Bonhams Polar Sale

A painting of Captain Scott’s ship, Terra Nova, leaving Cardiff as it set sail for the South Pole in 1910 is for sale at Bonhams Polar Sale in London on 30 March 2012. It is estimated at £7,000-9,000.

Cardiff had played a vital role in the preparations for the voyage and the painting was commissioned by local councillors to mark the occasion and to reflect the City’s pride in its part in the adventure. The money for the painting was raised by public subscription organised by the Cardiff Docks community.

In his 1913 book, ‘Scott’s Last Expedition’, Edward Evans, the mission’s second in command, praised, “the unbounded hospitality of the Cardiff citizens… who docked and coaled the ship for us, gave freely in money and kind, and made their generosity so felt that Captain Scott promised that Cardiff should be the home port of the Terra Nova”.

The painting, entitled, Terra Nova leaving Cardiff for the South Pole Regions, 15th June 1910 ” by Richard Short shows the ship being towed by tugboats from Bute Docks. In the background is the Royal Hotel where the farewell dinner had been held the previous evening.

The announcement of Scott’s death in February 1913 was met with profound shock in Cardiff and the Union Jack and black crepe were draped round Richard Short’s painting of the Terra Nova in the Library of the Exchange Building”. Terra Nova arrived back at Cardiff in June 1913 to be met by sixty thousand well-wishers, among them Kathleen Scott and her son Peter who boarded for a private reunion with the survivors. The figurehead of Terra Nova was later presented to the city by the ship’s owners.

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