Wooden box for a dip circle

A wooden dip circle box from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The lid is detached and broken into two parts. 13 pieces of the interior fittings are loose. The box is closed by two cabin hooks and a lock. The lock plate is missing.

The box was 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 it as '...a small dip circle in case..' [Stenton, 'Arctic' v.69, No. 4, p. 516]. McClintock does not record the box, only referring to ''...a dip circle by Robinson with two needles, bar magnates, and light horizontal needle all complete, the whole weighing only nine pounds' [McClintock, 'Voyage of the Fox' (1860), p.304].

The dip circle box was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich, Case 5, No. 4. 'Parts of a quadrant box'. It is incorrectly described because Hornby's recovered sextant did not have a box according to McClintock [page 304]. 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. 1.

Object Details

ID: AAA2376
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Box
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: 89 x 291 x 220 mm

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