Photos: ca. 1954. Twenty-four gelatin silver contact sheets, each ca. 30x25 cm (ca. 12x10 in). Each sheet with nine to twelve photos, several with light leaks, so altogether with 272 good quality images, each ca. 6x5,5 cm (2 ¼ x 2 ¼ in). With ca. 60 period white ink manuscript captions on recto of the contact sheets (identifying single photos or groups of photos); several photos with hand-drawn pencil crosses. All sheets with period pencil or ink numbers, markings or captions on verso. The sheets are slightly wavy, several sheets with minor creases or tears on extremities not affecting the images, but overall a very good collection on strong interesting photos. The book: Stonor, C. The Sherpa and the Snowman. London: Hollis & Carter, 1955. First edition. Octavo. xii, 209 pp.: ill. Dust jacket (minor tears on extremities). Very good.
Historically significant extensive collection of original gelatin silver photos, many previously unpublished, illustrating the 1954 “Daily Mail Himalayan Expedition in Search of the Yeti.” Organized just a year after Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the “Daily Mail Expedition” was initiated by Ralph Izzard (1910-1992), an intrepid traveller, adventurer and journalist who built his entire career in the “Daily Mail” and accompanied the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition as the newspaper’s correspondent. The members of the “Daily Mail” expedition included two participants of the 1953 Everest expedition (Tom Stobart and John Jackson), Biswamoy Biswas - a scientist with the Zoological Survey of India, American traveller Gerald Russell and British biologist Charles Stonor, who accompanied Izzard on his 1948 trip to the Apatani Valley in the eastern Himalayas in search of a mythical Buru, a dinosaur-like lizard. The “Daily Mail” expedition lasted from January to June 1954 and explored Nepal’s Khumbu region in the vicinity of Mt. Everest, including the valleys of Bhote Kosi, Dudh Kosi, Chola Khola and Imja Kola Rivers. Charles Stonor left Kathmandu in December 1953 ahead of the main party and trekked eastward, looking for Yeti footprints and interviewing Sherpas on the way. The remaining team joined him in Namche Bazar in February 1954. The expedition didn’t find Yeti or gather enough information to prove its existence but collected zoological specimens and identified two new bird species (Biswas, B. Zoological results of the “Daily Mail” Himalayan Expedition 1954. Two new birds from Khumbu, Eastern Nepal// Bulletin of the British Ornithologists Club. 1955, Vol. 75, pp. 87-88).
The photos on Stonor’s original contact sheets include over twenty pictures taken during his independent trekking to Namche Bazar and showing Those and Junbesi villages, their inhabitants and nearby scenery (mountains and valleys). The other photos document the expedition’s movement in the Khumbu region and the high Himalayas. Two contact sheets contain lively scenes of “Sherpa life in Namche Bazaar” (general and street views and portraits of the locals at their everyday duties), and a series of photos on the other sheet depicts a “local ceremony in Namche Bazaar.” The other photos show “Bhotekosi valley in and near Phorche village,” “scenes in and near Thami” (Thame in the Bhote Kosi valley), lower and upper Dudh Kosi valley (with two portraits of a local “carving sacred inscriptions on stone”), Tengboche Monastery (general views and scenes inside, portraits of the monks wearing ceremonial masks, playing Tibetan horns, &c.), a local “hermit” and his dwelling “above Dingboche,” Mounts Ama Dablam and Taboche, Barun glacier and pass, Hongu glacier, Everest Range, &c. Two photos depict “footprints of the Abominable Snowman.” One contact sheet shows an expedition camp with party members and Sherpas cooking, eating, talking, and working; Tom Stobart and Ralph Izzard are identified in captions. The uncaptioned photos show the expedition members crossing a river, trekking in the high Himalayas, Sherpas, local villages, mountainous scenery, &c.
Overall a great collection of photos illustrating the life of Sherpas in the Khumbu region of Nepal at the time.
A list of captions (the sheet numeration doesn’t follow Stonor’s markings on verso; the captions related to the whole sheet are given first; the captions to specific photos are given in brackets; the spelling is original):
1) Members of the 1954 Himalayan Expedition sponsored by the Daily Mail (Ralph Issard, Tom Stobart);
2) [Varios views near Those]: (Terracing near Toshi, Dec.; Valley; Sherpas down to trade nr. Toshi (2 photos); Forest above 9-10,000 ft., Shrine at Toshi; [..?] in front of Shiva temple, Toshi);
3) [Various views near Junbesi]: (Nr. Junbesi, Dec.; Above Junbesi, Dec. (2 different views); Clods for burning before potato planting, Junbesi Dec.; Above Junbesi; Looking north from above Junbesi; Inscribed rock near Junbesi);
4) Sherpa life in Namche Bazaar [two different contact sheets];
5) [Various views of the Khumbu region]: (Above Namche Bazaar; Everest Ranges; Ranges by Everest; Footprints of the Abominable Snowman);
6) [Various views of the Khumbu region]: (1,2,3 = Everest Range, Ranges & Scenery toward Namche Bazaar);
7) The Bhotekosi Valley in and near Phorche village;
8) Scenes in the Dudhkosi Valley;
9) Scenes near Ghat in the lower Dudhkosi Valley (Man carving sacred inscriptions on stone);
10) Thyangboche Monastery (Mount Amadablam, Mount Tawiche);
11) [Various views of the Khumbu region]: (Local ceremony in Namche Bazaar; Sherpa traveller from Lhasa, Sherpa nun milking cow; Thyangboche monastery [three views]; Everest range);
12) [Various views of the Khumbu region]: (Near Tyangboche; Hermit & cell above Dingboche; Rhododendrons (several photos); Pussy willow);
13) [Various views of the Khumbu region]: (Near Dingboche, Hongu Valley);
14) Scenes in and near Thami (Raven);
15) [“Lhotse, 3rd highest mountain” – captioned on verso];
16) [Various views of the Khumbu region]: Mount Amadablam (several views); Barun glacier (several views); Barun pass; Mount Markhalu (several views);
17) Ice formations in the Hongu Glacier (two different contact sheets).
Price: $5,250.00 USD