England

Explorer Edward Wilson's pipe bought for Cheltenham museum

A picture of Dr Edward Wilson alongside two of the pipe which has been bought Image copyright Scott Polar Research Institute/Pushkin Antiques
Image caption The tobacco pipe is engraved with Dr Edward Wilson's initials

A tobacco pipe which belonged to arctic explorer Dr Edward Wilson has been bought for display in his home town.

Dr Wilson, who often journeyed with Captain Scott, died in 1912 after failing to return to base camp during a trek with Scott to the South Pole.

His pipe, which it is believed he used on the first official British exploration of the Antarctic in 1901, cost in the region of £6,000.

It will be displayed at The Wilson museum in Cheltenham in June.

Image copyright Scott Polar Research Institute
Image caption Dr Edward Wilson seen sketching on Beardmore Glacier on 13 December 1911
Image copyright Pushkin Antiques
Image caption Pushkin Antiques did not know the history of the artefact when it was acquired as part of a mixed lot at auction

Engraved with Wilson's initials, the pipe was discovered among possessions at Hooton Pagnell Hall in South Yorkshire where his older brother, Bernard, had worked as the estate manager.

David Wilson, the explorer's great-nephew, said he was "very excited" that one of his great-uncle's pipes was going on display.

"It makes it possible for each and every visitor to The Wilson to come away inspired by his accomplishments, rather than remaining untouched, if impressed, by the heroic stories of his derring-do," he added.

Image copyright Pushkin Antiques
Image caption It will be displayed in the Wilson collection at The Wilson gallery and museum

Half of the money needed to buy the pipe was arranged by the Friends of the Wilson group and the rest was raised through donations.

The pipe will be added to The Wilson collection in the museum which explores the story of Dr Wilson's role on the first of Captain Scott's expeditions to the Antarctic.

Alex Pushkin, who runs Pushkin Antiques which sold the pipe, said the history of the object was not known when it was acquired as part of a mixed lot at auction.

"This gave us an opportunity to research the item and we were lucky to find out that it indeed belonged to Edward Wilson," he said.

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