Crowned fouled anchor Royal Naval gilt button

A gilt metal Royal Naval uniform button with shank from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The button is decorated with a crowned fouled anchor within a rope twist and is from a uniform worn by commissioned officers of the military (1843-) and civilian (1835-) branches.

The buttons were bartered from a group of Inuit near Cape Victoria, Boothia Peninsula, by Captain F. L. McClintock's sledge team in early March 1859, as part of the search expedition led by McClintock. About 45 Inuit turned up to trade with him, including bartering silver cutlery, a silver medal, several buttons and knives, and bows and arrows. McClintock records 'a few small naval and other metal buttons' that 'they wore as ornaments on their dresses' [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), pages 369-370].

It is not certain that the button was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich. The items are 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. 9 (middle right, between the two plain gilt buttons).

Object Details

ID: AAA2091
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Button
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Firmin & Sons Limited
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855)
Date made: circa 1845
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 16 x 22 mm

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