The Fairfax archives: Edmund Hillary’s life in images

By September 23, 2020News

The entire campaign took place during Auckland’s second lockdown and drew an astounding response from the public. Over one hundred bidders participated in the auction and generated sale total of more than $139,000. This equates to a sell-through rate of 200% by value. In other words, the vendor doubled their cumulative reserve prices.

The sale’s highest-price was achieved by a touching portrait of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay taken shortly after the pair returned from their 1953 Everest expedition. In the words of Sir Edmund Hillary’s son Peter ‘they look tired but they’ve been successful, they’ve been to the top and it’s just a magical photo’. This rare vintage photograph achieved $14,100 against a pre-sale estimate of $700 – $1,500.

Adrienne (AD) Schierning
Manager, Art
+64 27 929 5609



22 . The Times Everest Expedition 1953 gelatin silver print 210 x 250mm EST . $700 – $1,500 Price Realised incl. BP:$4,935

The Times Hillary and Tenzing Arriving at Advance Base 1953 gelatin silver print 210 x 210mm EST . $700 – $1,500 Price Realised incl. BP:$4,935

67 . The Times London Hillary Studies Himalayan Peaks from Berun Valley Base Camp 1954 gelatin silver print 200 x 250mm EST . $700 – $1,500 Price Realised incl. BP:$6,462.50


Hillary Expedition 1960 1960 gelatin silver print 170 x 160mm EST . $500 – $800 Price Realised incl. BP:$4,465

Everest Behind Them: Hillary and Tenzing Return from Conquest 1953 gelatin silver print 130 x 220mm EST . $700 – $1,500 Price Realised incl. BP:$14,100

Edmund Hillary, John Hunt and Tenzing Norgay 1953 gelatin silver print 130 x 230mm EST . $700 – $1,500 Price Realised incl. BP:$3,290