Polar Equipment and Relics

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Polar Equipment and Relics

Object details:

Object ID AAA2475
Description A relic of Sir John Franklin's last expedition 1845-8. A fiddle-pattern silver table fork, owned by Alexander McDonald, Assistant Surgeon, HMS 'Terror'. It was bought from the Inuit by the McClintock Search Expedition on 3 March 1859, near Cape Victoria, on the Boothia Peninsula. It is inscribed with the maker's initials 'BD' ( Benjamin Davis or Benjamin Dexter) and has London hallmarks with the date code 1831-32. The monogram 'A Mc D' is engraved on the front of the handle. See F.L. McClintock 'The voyage of the Fox in the Arctic Seas' p. 369 'six silver spoons and forks, the property of Sir John Franklin, Lieutenants H.D. Vescomte and Fairholme, A. McDonald, Assistant-Surgeon, and Lieutenant E. Couch', p.370. 'The spoons and forks were readily sold for a few needles each'. Alexander McDonald was born at Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire on 13 September 1817. He graduated as licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1838. In 1840 he served on an whaling vessel commanded by Captain William Penny and wrote an account of his experiences. Between 2 Sept 1841 and 5 March 1845 he served as surgeon on board HMS 'Belvidera' in the Mediterranean. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon in HMS 'Terror' on Sir John Franklin's last expedition of 1845. The expedition was beset and abandoned their ships in 1848. There were no survivors.
Date made 1831-1832

Artist/Maker Davis, Benjamin
Dexter, Benjamin
Place made London
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Materials silver
Measurements Overall: 15 x 205 x 26 mm
  • Fork (AAA2475)
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