Polar Equipment and Relics

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Polar Equipment and Relics

Object details:

Object ID AAA2207
Description A table knife with an ivory handle and a single edged steel blade. 'W.R.' inscribed on the handle. A relic of the ill-fated expedition led by Sir John Franklin in 1845 to seek the North West Passage. Found in a boat left at Erebus Bay on the West Coast of King William Island, by Capt F. L. McClintock's search expedition on 30 May 1859. 'WR' could be the initials of William Reed R. M. of 'HMS Erebus' or William Rhodes the quartermaster of 'HMS Terror'. R. J. Cyriax thought that 'WR' stood for 'ward room'. McClintock's party reached this site on the 30 May and discovered that Hobson had been there a few days before on the 18th. The boat was 28 foot long and mounted on a heavy sledge. McClintock found it just above high tide mark pointing back in the direction of the ships and containing a large quantity of abandoned personal possessions and two skeletons. F. L. McClintock 'The voyage of the Fox in the Arctic seas' p. 366 'Two table knives with white handles – one is marked ‘WR’. It is shown on - 'Stereoscopic slides of the relics of Sir John Franklin's Expedition' photographed by Lieut. Cheyne RN at the United Services Museum, Whitehall, number 5. The item was formerly exhibited at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Franklin Room, case 2, number 97.
Date made before 1845

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Materials steel; ivory
Measurements Overall: 15 x 165 x 16 mm
  • Knife (AAA2207)
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