Silver, fiddle-pattern table fork with Sir John Franklin's crest on the reverse of the handle

A silver fiddle-pattern table fork belonging to Sir John Franklin from the 1845 British Northwest Passage Expedition led by Sir John Franklin. The back of the handle bears the Franklin crest (conger eel's head between two branches). The fork has London hallmarks, the date code for 1844-45, and the maker's mark 'GA' for George Adams.

The silver table fork was bartered from a group of Inuit by Captain F. L. McClintock's sledge team on 7 May 1859 near Cape Norton, east side of King William Island where McClintock wrote 'I purchased from them six pieces of silver plate, bearing the crests or initials of Franklin, Crozier, Fairholme and McDonald,...' In his appendix McClintock records 'two table forks, one bearing the Franklin crest,...' [McClintock, The Voyage of the Fox (1859), pages 260, 370].

It is not certain that the silver table fork was displayed at the Royal Naval Museum, Greenwich. 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. 9 (bottom left).

Object Details

ID: AAA2480
Collection: Polar Equipment and Relics
Type: Fork
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Adams, George
Events: Arctic Exploration: Franklin's Last Expedition, 1845-1848; Arctic Exploration: Franklin Search Expedition, McClintock, 1857-1859
Vessels: Fox (1855)
Date made: 1844-1845
People: Franklin, John
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Measurements: Overall: 21 x 208 x 28 mm

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