Folding horn and lacquer pocket comb.

A folding pocket horn comb from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The comb contained some light brown hair (not evident now, 2021) and both Peglar and Armitage had brown hair. The comb is in a very warped lacquer case with a shaped plaque missing from the side.

The pocket comb was found near the skeleton located about nine miles east of Cape Herschel by Captain F. L. McClintock's sledge team on 25 May 1859, as part of the search expedition led by him from the 'Fox'. McClintock described finding a skeleton 'lying upon its face'. Initially the skeleton was identified as Henry Peter Peglar (1811-1848), Captain of the Foretop, HMS Terror, due to the contents of the pocket book relating to Peglar. However, it is now believed to be that of his friend Thomas Armitage (c1807-1848), Gunroom Steward from HMS Terror. McClintock recorded 'We found, also, a clothes-brush near, and a horn pocket comb.'. [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1858), page 275].

The comb was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 32. 'Pocket comb'. The item is also 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. 3.

Object Details

ID: AAA2115
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Pocket comb
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
People: Peglar, Henry Peter; Armitage, Thomas
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: 89 x 32 x 13 mm

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