Thursday, January 9, 2014

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Vida, 1911

Robert Falcon Scott's Dog
Presented to George V, 1914
The Royal Collection

A rather controversial figure of the time, Robert Falcon Scott, was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who lead two expeditions into the Antarctic. On these journeys, he and his crew used dogs to pull their sleds. Though, by all accounts, Scott wasn’t quite sure how to care for a dog in these conditions, he did seem to have genuine affection for them. One in particular was a favorite of Scott’s—a dog named Vida. Vida, it seems, had a bad coat and was very distrustful of people, but he soon grew to become attached to Scott.

Scott wrote in his journal of Vida, “He is a strange beast - I imagine so unused to kindness that it took him time to appreciate it.” In 1911, Scott had Vida photographed, looking very sweet.

During one of his polar expeditions in 1912, Scott and his companions died from exposure to the cold. They were discovered eight months later. In 1914, this photograph of Vida was presented to King George V in remembrance of Scott and his brave team.

Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Via The Royal Collection Trust
Images Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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