Franklin relics, Polar Equipment and Relics

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Two coat buttons

AAA2118
Franklin relics

Object details:

Object ID AAA2118
Description Two silk-covered coat buttons from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The buttons are black silk with linen backs. The shanks have rusted away. The buttons were found with the skeleton located about nine miles east of Cape Herschel by Captain F. L. McClintock's sledge team on 25 May 1859, as part of the search expedition led by him from the 'Fox'. McClintock described finding a skeleton 'lying upon its face'. Initially the skeleton was identified as Henry Peter Peglar (1811-1848), Captain of the Foretop, HMS Terror, due to the contents of the pocket book relating to Peglar. However, it is now believed to be that of his friend Thomas Armitage (c1807-1848), Gunroom Steward from HMS Terror. McClintock describes his clothing: 'the dress appeared to be that of a steward or officer's servant, the loose bow-knot in which his neck-handkerchief was tied not being used by seamen or officers... - the blue jacket with slashed sleeves and braided edging, and the pilot-cloth great coat with plain covered buttons. [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1858), page 275]. The two buttons were displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 30. 'Coat buttons, silk covered'. The item is also shown in - 'Stereoscopic slides of the relics of Sir John Franklin's Expedition' photographed by Lieutenant Cheyne RN, at the United Services Museum, Whitehall, No. 3.
Date made before 1845

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Materials silk; linen
Measurements 3 x 30 mm
Parts
  • Two coat buttons (AAA2118)
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