Kit bag owned by Sir Edmund Hillary goes up for auction

Publish Date
Thursday, 12 July 2018, 7:40PM

A special item ingrained in New Zealand's history is coming up for auction next week, attached with a hefty price tag.

A kit bag that belonged to Sir Edmund Hillary could be yours for the taking for $10,000 to $20,000 as it goes up for auction within Dunbar Sloane's Wellington Antique sale on July 19.

On auction in the New Zealand Historical section, the heavy duty canvas drawstring kit bag was used by Sir Edmund Hillary on the successful 1953 assault of Everest.

This bag was authenticated by Sir Edmund Hillary in 2003 and has a hand-written inventory transcribed on the side.

On the side of the bag Sir Edmund Hillary has hand written what the contents were. Photo / Dunbar Sloane

Written in Sir Ed's hand, it reads, "Assault March, Not to be issued personally, 10 air mattresses, 4 sleeping bags 20 below, 1 sleeping bag Mummy, 2 pairs down gloves, 6 pairs leather fingered gloves, 6 pairs silk gloves, Hillary, Auckland New Zealand, clothing, Air Mail".

A Dunbar Sloane spokeswoman said the bag has come from a private Hamilton collection.

It was found in a caravan once owned by Sir Edmund Hillary, which was sold to the current owner in 2003.

"It is remarkable it has survived and fortunate that the vendors had the bag verified by the man himself," the spokeswoman said.

The bag is estimated to sell for between $10,000–$20,000, with appeal to institutions and private collectors.

It will be up for grabs within a large two-day auction full of antiques, decorative arts and jewellery.

The NZ Historical section is taking place on Thursday, July 19, with other highlights of this section being a rare timber-inlaid card table made by famous cabinetmaker Anton Seuffert which is expected to sell for $20,000–$30,000, and a group of Peter Snell one-mile world record lap split time stills.

Viewings of the items within the Antique and Decorative Arts Auction are available until 5pm on Tuesday.

• Go to the Dunbar Sloane website for more information.