Fragment of patterned silk neckerchief

A large fragment of patterned silk neckerchief/handkerchief from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The printed pattern includes an off-white seaweed-style pattern on a brown (possibly originally black) background. The fragment includes evidence of a selvage edge.

The patterned hand/neckerchief was found at the boat site in Erebus Bay by Captain F. L. McClintock's sledge team on 30 May 1859, as part of the search expedition led by McClintock The site had been visited and partially investigated by Lt. William Hobson on 24 May but his report does not list everything he saw or removed. McClintock records a 'fragment of silk handkerchief' and later 'a piece of silk pocket handkerchief'. [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), page 366].

The piece of silk was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 73. 'Fragment of handkerchiefs found in the boat on the west shore of King William Island'. 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. 6 (top, left of centre).

Object Details

ID: AAA2157
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Neckerchief
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: circa 1845
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 229 x 356 mm

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