Fragment of embossed silver gilt ornamental work

A fragment of embossed metal plate (silver gilt) from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The plate is a thin piece of metal with embossed decoration and pierced at one end with cotton fibres attached.

The metal plate was 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 broken piece of ornamental work apparently silver gilt' [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), page 369].

It is not certain that the fragment was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich. The item is 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 (top, below right of the model sledge).

Object Details

ID: AAA2094
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Metal plate
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855)
Date made: Before 1845
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: 32 x 6 mm

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