Horn-handled clasp knife

A horn-handled clasp knife with a steel blade from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin.

The clasp knife 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 seaman's clasp-knife'. [McClintock, Voyage of the Fox (1859), page 366].

The knife was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 98 'Sailor's clasp knife'. 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. 5 (left of middle centre).

Object Details

ID: AAA2177
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Clasp Knife
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: Overall: 16 x 102 x 30 mm

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