“IN THE FRONT RANK OF MOUNTAIN PHOTOGRAPHERS”: LARGE VINTAGE EVEREST EXPEDITION PHOTOGRAPH BY FRANK SMYTHE, PUBLISHER’S FILE COPY, USED IN SMYTHE’S CAMP SIX
SMYTHE, Frank. Photograph. No place, . Vintage black-and-white photograph, measuring 10-1/2 by 15 inches. Window matted, entire piece measures 14 by 18 inches. $1300.
Vintage matte albumen photograph of the view from Camp V on Mount Everest during the Fourth British Expedition.
The image, taken at Camp V and looking out just above thick cloud cover, captures the peaks of several mountains in the Himalayas and the horizon beyond them. During the 1933 British Expedition, Camp V was set up at 25,700 feet on two narrow platforms with two tents on each. The expedition reached the camp only to have to return to Camp IV when a storm with extraordinarily high winds threatened the safety of the mountaineers. On its second attempt, the expedition met with greater success and used Camp V to rest prior to the ascent to Camp VI. Smythe “was in the front rank of mountain photographers. He was at his best as an interpreter of mountain adventure” (DNB). This photograph was a file copy used by Houghton Mifflin at page 188 of Smythe’s 1937 book Camp Six. Pencil publisher’s notations to verso.
One small defect and faint creasing to image, light wear to corners, minor tape residue and soiling to verso. A beautiful, near-fine photograph.