Inuit-made arrow from salvaged material from the Franklin Expedition

An Inuit arrow made from salvaged material from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The arrow has a lanceolate iron blade riveted to an antler foreshaft, in turn lashed to a wooden shaft. It retains its flight feathers.

The arrow was bartered from a group of Inuit by Captain F. L. McClintock's sledge team on 3 March 1859 near Cape Victoria, Boothia Peninsula. Here the sledge team met about 45 Inuit who bartered relics in exchange for knives, files, scissors, beads &c... McClintock recorded in the Appendix 'Some bows and arrows, in which wood, iron or copper has been used in the construction - of no other interest [...] Bows and arrows were readily exchanged for knives.' [McClintock, The Voyage of the Fox (1859), p369-370].

The arrow shaft was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, 'Case 5, No. 5. Three arrows'. The item is possibly 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. 10 (Outside the case at the bottom with the feathers underneath). The arrow was shown in the 'Illustrated London News' 15 October 1859, p. 367.

Object Details

ID: AAA2110
Collection: World Cultures; Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Arrow
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: 1848-1859
Exhibition: North-West Passage
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: 635 x 19 mm

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