Alfred Gregory's photographs in Melbourne online auction
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 20th April, 2020
Gibson’s Auctions love affair with English-born climber, explorer and photographer Alfred Gregory (1913-2010) continues with a timed online auction that ends in incremental stages from 10.30am Thursday April 23.
This latest effort, with 127 photographic lots on offer, follows an earlier Gregory sale by the Melbourne-based auction house, located at 885-889 High Street, Armadale, in August last year.
Gregory’s photographic exploits became legendary when he was chosen in 1953 as a climbing member of John Hunt’s British team to scale Mount Everest in support of Sir Edmund Hillary-Norgay Tenszig’s first historic and successful summit attempt.
The intrepid explorer was appointed official stills photographer for the expedition, leading to several more mountain climbs during the 1950s, including Rolwaling and Gauri Shankar in Nepal where 19 new peaks were conquered, and to Ana Dablam.
Gregory also led expeditions to Distigal Sar, Karakoram in Pakistan and to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru.
The April 23 auction, forced online by the lockdown restrictions in Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic, contains mainly black and white photographs (Gregory’s favourite medium) – all with affordable catalogue estimates of only several hundred dollars.
Of particular note is lot 84 entitled Western CWM 1953/1970s and lot 87 Arriving at Banepa a way back to Kathmandu 1953/1980s.
Gregory’s Mount Everest experiences are recounted in such photographs as lot 92 Wylie at left, Advance Base Camp 1953/1970s, lot 90 Porters at Base Camp 1953/1970s and lot 95 Windblown Mt Everest 1953/1983.
Another, clearer shot of the Mt Everest summit is shown in lot 97 entitled simply Mt Everest 1953/1970s, while a graphic rendition of the advance base and Everest’s fickle weather can be seen in lot 98 Advance Base 1953/1970s.
Gregory also loved taking photographs of people in different situations and, to that end, lots 105 Blackpool 1960/1973 and lot 108 Blackpool in the 1960s 1960/2003 were great examples.
Other such fascinating studies include lot 123 Ice cream 1960/1973 and lot 124 Riding on the beach 1960/1973.
Viewing strictly only by appointment to ensure client and staff safety during coronavirus restrictions.