Wind vane spindle

A copper spindle from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The spindle is pointed at both ends, although one end is square in section. The other end has the remains of two attachments, suggesting that it may be from a boat's wind vane (also called a dog-vane).

The copper spindle was one of two (the other is AAA2231) found by Lieutenant William R. Hobson's sledge team on 6 May 1859 near the Ross Cairn, Point Victory, King William Island, as part of the search expedition led by Captain F. L. McClintock. Hobson described them as 'two small copper spindles (probably for vanes)' [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 516]. McClintock recorded them as '... two small copper spindles, probably for dog-vanes of boats' [McClintock, 'Voyage of the Fox' (1860), p.368].

The weather vane spindles were possibly displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 2, No. 74. 'Pieces of copper from Ross Cairn'. 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. 6 (bottom).

Object Details

ID: AAA2221
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Spindle
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: 310 x 10 mm

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