27 October 2013
Four generations of the Gibson family produced the acclaimed images between 1869 and 1997. They will be auctioned in a single lot on 12 November.Included will be a thousand negatives, in film and glass-plate form, of some 200 wreckings. An accompanying ledger details the wrecked ships and what happened to their crews. The Gibsons of Scilly Shipwreck Archive is expected to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000. Ownership will include copyright to the material.“This is the greatest archive of the drama and mechanics of shipwreck we will ever see,” says historic wrecks expert Rex Cowan.The pictures represent “such power, insight and nostalgia that even the most passive observer cannot fail to feel the excitement or pathos of the events they depict”.Most of the wrecks which were photographed will subsequently have broken up to the point where nothing survived.Some, however, will have left longer-lasting remains able to be enjoyed by scuba enthusiasts, from the advent of sport diving in the 1950s to the present day.
The merchantman Bay of Panama, wrecked at Nare Point near Falmouth in March 1891.