Model (detail), of kayak & figure

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Postcard of Model (detail), of kayak & figure.
© National Museums Scotland

Model (detail), of kayak & figure

This is a detail of a model of an Inuit kayak or skin covered boat with a model occupant. The model comes from Greenland and dates from the 19th century. It is part of a collection of relics recovered from Sir John Franklin's Arctic expedition of 1848-9. The relics were given to Dr John Rae (1813-93) by North American Inuits in 1854, who told Rae how Franklin's men had perished in the Arctic.

The model occupant is made of wood, with a sealskin coat. A circular stand for harpoon lines is attached to the boat.

Although Rae was involved in the search for Franklin's team in 1848-9, it was during his trip in 1853-4 that he discovered the fate of the expedition. Franklin's men had died due to starvation, exposure and perhaps lead poisoning from food stored in tins.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-671-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.L.304.80
Date: 19th century
Dimensions: 26.50" kayak L
What: Kayak / model / figure / model / stand, line / model
Subject: Transport
Who: Rae Collection
Sir John Franklin
Where: Greenland
Description: Model kayak or skin covered boat with wooden model occupant and circular line stand attached: Inuit, Greenland, 19th century
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