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Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935)

Biography of photographer Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935)

Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) was born to a wealthy English West Country family in 1870. In the early 1890s, Herbert Ponting emigrated to California where he bought a fruit farm and also became a partner in a gold mining enterprise. Both enterprises soon foundered; he was totally inept as a businessman and he turned to photography, where he found a ready market for his work.

In the ten years preceding his appointment as photographer to Captain Scott's Polar Expedition (1910) which brought him fame, Ponting travelled the world as a freelance photographer. Ponting's first major commission was for Underwood & Underwood, the leading publishers of stereo cards, who dispatched him to the Orient, where he remained to cover the Russo-Japanese war.

Ponting spent a further two years in China, India and South East Asia before returning to Europe where in 1908 he photographed the Swiss and French Alps. Ponting’s large-scale carbon prints (up to 40 x 60 inches) are first mentioned in HJP Arnold Photographer of the World, A Biography of Herbert Ponting in connection with the Dresden International Photographic Exhibition 1909 and thereafter they continued to be produced on a smaller scale for other exhibitions and for public sale.

Ponting died in 1935.

Related Fine Art Categories

Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) Related Lots

Lot FS29/456

Lot FS29/456: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - 'Terra Nova' in A Gale, December 1910 Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - 'Terra Nova' in a Gale, December 1910 carbon print - 46 x 34.5cm, sheet size 53.6 x 41.5 captioned and signed HG PONTING in ink in the lower margin.

Estimate: £2,500 - £3,500
Realised: £5,100

Lot FS29/455

Lot FS29/455: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - The Matterhorn From Stellisee Carbon Print, 45.5 X 35.4cm, Sheet Size 49.8 X 38.3cm Captioned and Signed HG PONTING in Ink in the Lower Margin.

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - The Matterhorn from Stellisee carbon print, 45.5 x 35.4cm, sheet size 49.8 x 38.3cm captioned and signed HG PONTING in ink in the lower margin.

Estimate: £1,000 - £1,500
Realised: £1,500

Lot FS29/451

Lot FS29/451: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Cherry Blossom Time in Japan. Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Cherry Blossom Time in Japan. carbon print - 37.3 x 45cm, sheet size 40.7 x 48.2cm, captioned and signed in ink by Ponting in the bottom margin.

Estimate: £600 - £800
Realised: £900

Lot FS29/450

Lot FS29/450: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Amanda Temple At the Deserted City of Pogan on the Irrawaddi, Burma Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Amanda Temple at the deserted city of Pogan on the Irrawaddi, Burma carbon print - 24.2 x 43.3cm, plus 3mm untrimmed border at lower edge. signed in pencil H G.Ponting, in the bottom left corner of the image image titled in pencil on the backboard of the original frame.

Estimate: £300 - £500
Realised: £350

Lot FS29/453

Lot FS29/453: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - The Grand Canal Near Peking Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - The Grand Canal near Peking carbon print - 49 x 35.3cm flush mounted on card the title as above inscribed by Ponting in pencil verso, together with his signature, and a further caption, the Muck Raker.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £320

Lot FS29/452

Lot FS29/452: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Under the Purple Wisterias Japan Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Under the Purple Wisterias Japan carbon print - 46.3 x 34cm, including 3mm untrimmed margin on right and lower edge. captioned and signed HG PONTING in white poster paint, in a formal calligraphic hand in the lower left of the image.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £380

Lot FS29/449

Lot FS29/449: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - A Japanese Potter Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - A Japanese Potter carbon print - 34.2 x 48.7cm, flush mounted on card Ponting's signature embossed in the image lower left, captioned in ink lower right also captioned the Potter, in pencil verso, together with Ponting's copyright stamp.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £450

Lot FS29/448

Lot FS29/448: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - A Fakir of Holy Benares Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - A Fakir of Holy Benares carbon print - 34 x 45.5cm, sheet size 37.5 x 48.8cm captioned and signed HG Ponting in ink in lower margin.

Estimate: £200 - £300
Realised: £580

Lot FS29/454

Lot FS29/454: Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Giant Bamboos of Peradeniya, Ceylon Carbon Print

Herbert George Ponting [1870-1935] - Giant Bamboos of Peradeniya, Ceylon carbon print - 45.5 x 32cm, plus 3mm untrimmed borders on side edges title inscribed in ink in the bottom left corner of the image.

Estimate: £50 - £100
Realised: £320